You have now been given or assigned the responsibility of being the manager of a Latent Print Unit. Hopefully, you have the technical knowledge to perform as the senior technical person for the unit. If not, then you probably need to be looking for a different version of this training. If you are an experienced latent print examiner, then this short program of instruction is for you. Making decisions based upon best industry practices sounds fine and good, but what does that really mean?

  • How do I fill the positions within my unit?

  • How do I get the most production out of my staff of latent print examiners without sacrificing accuracy?

  • How do I design a set of operation manuals which will keep us on track without impeding our examination of casework?

  • How do I achieve “buy in” from my staff members to the way in which I wish the unit to function?

  • How do I help them grow professionally?

  • How do I properly handle the mistakes, which will most certainly occur?

  • How do I ensure that the testimony they provide in court is consistent with the agency’s position and consistent with the industry recommendations?

These questions and more will be addressed in this training program. Hopefully, you will find it helpful in the management of your own unit.

I, Ron Smith, have been an examiner, a manager and or technical leader in the field of latent prints for almost 50 years. I have made more management mistakes than I care to count, but I have learned so much from them. I have worked for some of the best, and some of the worst, managers and laboratory directors in the business and they all contributed to my practical knowledge of how to manage a latent print unit.

The method of instruction I have chosen may seem somewhat odd at first. We will be discussing some of the worst, just plain dumb, ideas that I personally have experienced in my career. I hope you understand that although I now work in the private sector, where we can operate much more freely and efficiently than government-run laboratories, the majority of my career was spent working for state or federal agencies. I did, however, in the last couple of decades of my government employment, discover that there were things that a government agency latent print manager could accomplish just by doing the research and proposing a ready made solution to the directors, instead of just presenting the problem.


by Instructor Ron Smith, CLPE

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Before you begin...

    • Before you begin...

    • About Your Instructor: Ron Smith

    • Course Introduction

    • Need Help? Got Questions?

  • 2

    Dumb Idea #1 - Human Resources

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #1 - Human Resources

    • Dumb Idea #1 - Human Resources (PART 1)

    • Dumb Idea #1 - Human Resources (PART 2)

    • Dumb Idea #1 - Human Resources (PART 3)

  • 3

    Dumb Idea #2 - Training

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #2 - Training

    • Dumb Idea #2 - Training

  • 4

    Dumb Idea #3 - Experienced Applicants

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #3 - Experienced Applicants

    • Dumb Idea #3 - Experienced Applicants

  • 5

    Dumb Idea #4 - Quality Control Issues

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #4 - Quality Control Issues

    • Dumb Idea #4 - Quality Control Issues

  • 6

    Dumb Idea #5 - Errors

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #5 - Errors

    • Dumb Idea #5 - Errors

  • 7

    Double Dumb Idea #6 - Productivity

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Double Dumb Idea #6 - Productivity

    • Dumb Idea #6 - Productivity

  • 8

    Dumb Idea #7 - Expert Witness Testimony

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Dumb Idea #7 - Expert Witness Testimony

    • Dumb Idea #7 - Expert Witness Testimony

  • 9

    Final Written Exam

    • Final Words From Your Instrcutor

    • Final Written Exam (80% Passing)

  • 10

    Before you go...

    • Course Survey

    • Need Help? Got Questions?

Your Instructor

RS&A President

Ron Smith, CLPE

Ron Smith has been employed in the forensic identification field since 1972, first with the FBI, then with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and from 1978 until his retirement in July 2002 with the Mississippi Crime Laboratory. As Associate Director, he served as supervisor of the Meridian Branch of the Mississippi Crime Lab System. He is a specialist in courtroom testimony instruction, latent fingerprint examinations and crime scene examinations and has provided expert witness testimony in over five hundred cases in numerous states.


4 Hours Latent Print Certification and Re-certification

The RS&A course "How Smart People Manage Latent Print Examiners" has been approved for 4 hours credit toward IAI Latent Print Certification and Recertification. Instructor credits are also approved for the course.

Course Tuition and Access Limits

Online Course Cost (4 Hours): $150.00

Special Introductory Price: $100.00

Max time to complete this course: 30 Days