Secret Service’s ink evidence library now electronically searchable
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Mar 16, 2009
The Secret Service’s Digital Ink Library, used to analyze ink evidence in investigations of financial crimes and protective intelligence cases, is now electronically searchable.
The Digital Library separates ink samples into unique bands by using a solvent system and digitizes the results. As a result of being digitized, ink sample matching takes minutes as opposed to hours or days, and inks remain safe from environmental degradation and accidental contamination.
“The transition of the Secret Service’s Digital Ink Library represents an important milestone in our efforts to enhance evidence collection and analysis to enable more rapid, effective prosecution,” said David Boyd, director of the Science and Technology Directorate’s Command, Control and Interoperability Division in the Homeland Security Department. “The Digital Ink Library will significantly enhance the Secret Service’s ability to assist local, tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with the investigation and identification of suspects, making our nation safer and more secure.”
The largest digital ink library of its kind, the system was created in partnership with the Secret Service, CAMAG Scientific and the University of Lausanne. The Secret Service and other federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies are able to access nearly 10,000 digitized ink samples in the library to identify and analyze written evidence. The inks are used to investigate criminal and terrorist cases involving fraudulent financial documents, checks, money orders, property and asset documents, and threats to persons under law enforcement protection.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.