Forensics

Scientist preparing a slide on a microscope. ATF laboratories are staffed with highly trained chemists, forensic biologists, engineers, fingerprint specialists, firearm and tool mark examiners, document examiners and administrative personnel. Many of these professionals have held leadership positions in numerous professional scientific organizations and are among the most highly qualified specialists in their fields.

Publications

The below documents are management system documents utilized by ATF Laboratories. They are provided for informational purposes only. Sensitive or copyrighted information has been redacted. The documents are used in ATF Laboratories and not published with the intent of setting a policy or analysis standard for other laboratories. The inclusion of equipment/software manufacturer names does not imply endorsement by ATF Laboratories.

The documents were current as of February 28, 2018. ATF management system documents are reviewed annually and revised as needed. For specific requests, submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Instructions on how to file a FOIA request are found at: www.atf.gov/resource-center/freedom-information-act-foia.

Name Description Type
ATF-LS-QD 3 Typewriter Ribbon Examinations (245.03 KB)
To locate a questioned typewritten text on a single-strike carbon typewriter ribbon, and link it to a particular typewritten impression on a document.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 4 Photocopy Examinations (249.61 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether a particular photocopier was used to produce a questioned photocopy.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 5 Alteration Obliteration and Ink Examination (258.38 KB)
To determine, if possible, if a particular entry has been altered or obliterated or to differentiate inks on the document.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 6 Indented Writing Examination (252.38 KB)
To detect and decipher, if possible, written indentations on paper.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 8 Computer Generated Document Examinations (269.59 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether or not a given computer and/or printer was used to make the questioned entries.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 9 Facsimile Examinations (246.51 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether a given facsimile originated from a specific make and/or model of fax machine.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD10 Physical Match of Paper Cuts, Tears and Perforations (242.87 KB)
To determine, if possible, if two or more paper fragments were, at some time, joined or were perforated while one was on top of the other.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD11 Rubber Stamp and Rubber Stamp Impressions Examinations (277.79 KB)
To determine, if possible, if two or more rubber stamp impressions resulted from the same stamp or if a known stamp produced a questioned impression(s).
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD12 Definitions of Terminology for Laboratory Reports (232.14 KB)
To define terminology for expressing questioned document conclusions.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD13 Cigarette Tax Stamp Examinations (250.35 KB)
To determine, if possible, if a particular cigarette tax stamp is authentic.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD13 Cigarette Tax Stamp Examinations Redacted (217.91 KB)
Redacted 
Other Trace
ATF-LS-QD14 Paper Examination (251.32 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether or not a given computer and/or printer was used to make the questioned entries.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD15 Impression Devices Examinations (266.33 KB)
To determine, if possible, if a device made an impression(s) or whether or not two or more impressions were the result of a common device. These devices can include checkwriter machines, stamps of various types and dry seals.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD16 Line Sequence Examinations (250.01 KB)
To determine, if possible, the sequence of application of a given line of writing, typewriting, or toner came before another line of similar or different type (or crease).
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-TE01 - Setup and Use of Fluorescence Microscopy (102.69 KB)
This method describes the procedure for setup and use of the reflected light fluorescence attachment on the PLM microscopes.
Other Trace
ATF-LS-TE02 Setup and Use of the Microscope (108.94 KB)
This method describes the procedure for basic microscopy setup on compound polarized light microscopes (PLM) but certain sections can also be used for brightfield (biological) microscopes.
Other Trace
ATF-LS-TE03 Use of the Microspectrophotometer (112.45 KB)
This method describes the procedure for use of the Microspectrophotometer. Microspectrophotometers are used to measure color characteristics in the transmission, reflectance, or fluorescence of microscopic samples in the UV, visible, and NIR.
Other Trace
ATF-LS-TE04 Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (124.66 KB)
Pyrolysis is a technique used to break chemical bonds of molecules by the use of thermal energy only.
Other Trace
ATF-LS-TE07 Raman Spectrometer (133.32 KB)
Raman spectroscopy is a technique that has been validated for rapid identification of unknown chemicals.
Other Trace
ATF-LS-TE09 Examination, Analysis and Comparison of Hair Evidence (170.93 KB)
Different crimes involve the recovery of trace evidence from articles of clothing, vehicles, crime scenes, or other items, which may contain hairs.
Other Trace
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