Crime Lab

The Boise Police Department Crime Lab consists of a group of highly specialized experts who work closely with detectives and
 prosecutors to help crime victims in our community. These individuals work in a controlled lab environment located within the Boise Police Headquarters building located at 333 North Mark Stall Place.

The primary responsibility of the Crime Lab is to apply scientific laboratory testing procedures to the analysis of physical crime fingerprint evidence for the purpose of comparison or identification.

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Evidence seized at crime scenes is routed to the Crime Lab for the development of fingerprints by the use of various powders, chemicals and other treatment methods.

Our Criminalists may be called out (day or night) to respond to crime scenes where additional expertise and/or equipment is needed. Fingerprints developed on evidence or at a crime scene are compared to any suspects listed in the case. If no suspects are listed, the latent prints can be entered in a computer database called AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). AFIS will only accept certain quality prints, therefore, not all prints are able to be submitted to AFIS. fingerprints by the use of various powders, chemicals and other treatment methods.

Additional duties of the Crime Lab include the development of film or the processing of images from digital cameras that are taken by lab personnel or officers at crime scenes. Prints are made according to specifications from officers or prosecutors for evidence in court. Criminalists may also be requested to attend autopsies for photography and/or to take postmortem prints from the deceased.


The duties performed by the individuals in the lab require that minute details be compared accurately, as all identifications of fingerprints must be 100% accurate. Criminalists testify in court relative to latent print identification and other lab determinations. They are also subject to strenuous cross examination in court regarding these determinations.