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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200430 Find in a Library
Title: Drawing the Line
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:5  Dated:May 2003  Pages:44,46,50
Author(s): Donna Rogers
Editor(s): Ronnie Garrett
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the use of digital and hand-drawn composite sketches in aiding law enforcement in the solving of crimes.
Abstract: There is controversy over the value in using forensic artistry versus the use of digital imaging composite software in aiding law enforcement investigations in apprehending suspects. This article compares both of these methods individually and together. Hand-drawn sketches are seen as having the ability to include subtleties which cannot compare to a composite software program. Hand-drawn sketches can provide a dramatic increase in the number of facial feature possibilities and software can only show a finite number of features. However, the worth of a hand-drawn sketch relies on the talent of the artist which can lessen the effectiveness of hand drawings. Computerized composites have advanced over the years to contain a database of facial characteristics from multiple races and the program is categorized into five components: hairline, eyebrow, nose, mouth, and chin. Computerized composites can be easily sent in a special bulletin, either hard copy or electronically. Digital composites can be made in the field immediately following an incident and with printers in the field, can be immediately distributed in the area of the crime. Some law enforcement agencies utilize both hand-drawn sketches and digital imaging. Hand-drawn sketches once completed can then be scanned into a digital imaging program. There are benefits and drawbacks to both hand-drawn and digital sketches. Regardless of which process is used, certain techniques remain the same.
Main Term(s): Suspect identification
Index Term(s): Computer aided investigations; Computer software; Computers; Photographic analyses; Police artists
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