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Fingerprint Unit at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office undergoing changes after FDLE audit

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Fingerprint Unit at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office is undergoing changes.

The changes followed an audit by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, after one of the Fingerprint Analysts at MCSO came forward saying she misidentified a print.

Officials said the error was made in early 2020, and she finally realized the mistake in NOV., prompting Sheriff Billy Woods to contact the outside agency.

“This audit that was conducted went all the way back to 2003. We wanted to be very thorough about this. Was there anything we missed, was there anything that was incorrect in any of these cases,” MCSO Public Information Director, Sgt. Paul Bloom said.

Officials said there wasn’t anything found that would impact any closed or open cases.

FDLE agents did recommend that MCSO make changes to the examination process, and officials said they are following all of those recommendations.

“The sheriff decided based on the FDLE recommendations for of those employees that deal with fingerprinting to have some extra training, and better equipment, technology as that’s improved and changed over the years to reflect that. We’ve also incorporated our own DNA Lab here in the sheriff’s office which not many agencies have,” Bloom said.

No employees were fired, and there are plans to hiring an extra fingerprint analyst.

Related story: Forensic Services helps close the case

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