Detective Mark Henson of the Hamilton Police Department in Hamilton, Ohio recently received certification as a latent print examiner and has been promoted to that position within the department. Henson is a veteran police officer and has been on the force for the last 25 years.
His experience in law enforcement and detection helped him earn the promotion as he describes himself as being “all about the science of crime fighting.”
Throughout his career as a detective, Henson honed his skills in processing crime scenes and acquiring knowledge about the detection process and what it takes to solve the most challenging crimes.
As a latent print examiner, Henson’s skill set will be put to the ultimate test as his new job responsibilities include meticulously pouring over various items at a particular crime scene in an effort to extract fingerprints that are imperceptible to the naked eye.
Henson’s certification through the International Association of Identification as an LPE designates him as one of only 10,000 experts in the world in “the development and history of fingerprinting.” According to Henson, the vast majority of crimes that are committed anywhere in the world are solved by fingerprints.
For Henson and the rest of the law enforcement community in Hamilton, the goal over the last several weeks has been to generate a local fingerprint database that has the ability to generate results and match fingerprints with perpetrators much faster than its state and national counterparts.
Hits – or fingerprint matches – can be generated by the database in minutes or even seconds as opposed to the hours and sometimes days that it can take national databases to make a match.
Henson, who was promoted to detective in 2003, began working with fingerprints two years later and started working toward his certification as a latent print examiner in 2008.