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  • >> HI, I'M ACTING CITY MANAGER

  • ED ZUERCHER.

  • HERE AT THE CITY OF PHOENIX WE

  • HAVE 15,000 DEDICATED EMPLOYEES

  • WHO WORK HARD EVERY DAY TO SERVE

  • THE PUBLIC IN A VARIETY OF JOBS.

  • ONE OF THE PLACES THAT IS VERY

  • INTERESTING FOR THE CITY IS OUR

  • STATE-OF-THE-ART CRIME LAB,

  • AND WE'RE HERE TODAY TO TALK TO

  • FORENSIC SCIENTIST LAURA ALZUBI

  • ABOUT THE WORK SHE DOES FOR THE

  • CITIZENS OF PHOENIX HERE AT THE

  • CRIME LAB.

  • HI, LAURA.

  • >> HI, HOW ARE YOU?

  • >> GOOD.

  • THANKS FOR JOINING ME.

  • SO, YOU'RE A FORENSIC SCIENTIST.

  • TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT

  • SORT OF BACKGROUND YOU NEED TO

  • HAVE THIS JOB THAT YOU HAVE

  • HERE.

  • >> WELL, RIGHT NOW AT THE

  • LABORATORY YOU NEED TO HAVE A

  • BACHELOR'S OF SCIENCE.

  • TYPICALLY THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE

  • LOOKING FOR.

  • I HAVE A BACHELOR'S IN MOLECULAR

  • BIOLOGY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF

  • ARIZONA, AND I HAVE BEEN WORKING

  • AT THE LABORATORY FOR EIGHT

  • YEARS.

  • >> SO TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT

  • WHAT YOUR DAILY WORK IS.

  • WHAT DO YOU DO EVERY DAY HERE IN

  • THE CRIME LAB?

  • >> SO IN THE LABORATORY THERE

  • ARE EIGHT SECTIONS OF THE

  • LABORATORY, AND I WORK IN THE

  • LATENT PRINT COMPARATIVE

  • SECTION.

  • I LOOK AT EVIDENCE THAT HAS BEEN

  • COLLECTED FROM CRIME SCENES,

  • AS WELL AS OTHER TYPES OF

  • EVIDENCE THAT CONTAIN

  • FINGERPRINT IMPRESSIONS.

  • SO IF THERE'S A FINGERPRINT

  • IMPRESSION COLLECTED AT THE

  • CRIME SCENE AND WE HAVE AN

  • INVESTIGATIVE LEAD, WE CALL THAT

  • A MANUAL COMPARISON WHERE WE'RE

  • COMPARING AN UNKNOWN PRINT TO A

  • KNOWN PRINT.

  • OFTENTIMES, MORE OFTENTIMES,

  • THE LATENT PRINT COLLECTED AT

  • THE CRIME SCENE DOES NOT HAVE

  • ANY INVESTIGATIVE LEAD, AND,

  • THEREFORE, WE WOULD PUT THAT

  • FINGERPRINT INTO OUR AUTOMATED

  • SYSTEM CALLED AFIS, AND AFIS

  • IS THE AUTOMATED FINGERPRINT

  • IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM.

  • WE CODE THE LATENT.

  • WE PUT IT THROUGH THE SYSTEM.

  • AND THE SYSTEM WILL BRING BACK A

  • POTENTIAL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR

  • US TO COMPARE.

  • ASIDE FROM THOSE TWO MAIN

  • FUNCTIONS THAT I DO EVERY DAY,

  • I DO TESTIFY IN THE JUDICIAL

  • SYSTEM WHEN CALLED UPON TO

  • PRESENT MY FINDINGS, AND I ALSO

  • GO OUT AND DO SOME OUTREACH

  • PROGRAMS FOR THE CITY OF

  • PHOENIX... SCHOOLS, OTHER

  • MEMBERS OF THE PHOENIX POLICE

  • DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS OTHER

  • MEMBERS OF THE LABORATORY.

  • >> SO YOU'RE A SCIENTIST, BUT

  • YOU'RE ALSO A CITY EMPLOYEE.

  • WHEN YOU WERE GETTING YOUR

  • DEGREE, DID YOU THINK ABOUT

  • WORKING FOR THE CITY OR FOR A

  • LOCAL GOVERNMENT?

  • WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU THOUGHT

  • ABOUT?

  • >> I ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THAT

  • IN THE BACK OF MY MIND, THAT

  • THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO DO.

  • I DO KNOW THAT IT'S VERY

  • CHALLENGING TO GET THOSE TYPES

  • OF POSITIONS.

  • SO I TRIED TO DO EVERYTHING THAT

  • I COULD IN ORDER TO KIND OF GET

  • MY FOOT IN THE DOOR.

  • >> NOW, WE SEE "CSI" ON TV,

  • AND ON "CSI", THEY HAVE ONE CASE

  • AND THEY WORK IT AND IT'S ONE

  • HOUR AND IT'S DONE.

  • I'M GUESSING THAT'S NOT HOW IT

  • IS HERE FOR YOU.

  • HOW MANY CASES MIGHT YOU HAVE

  • GOING AT ONE TIME?

  • >> I HAVE QUITE A LARGE CASE

  • LOAD.

  • EVERY CASE IS SO DIFFERENT.

  • SO YOU MIGHT HAVE ONE CASE THAT

  • HAS ONE LATENT PRINT, AND YOU

  • MIGHT HAVE ANOTHER CASE THAT HAS

  • A HUNDRED LATENT PRINTS

  • COLLECTED OFF OF ONE ITEM,

  • SUCH AS A VEHICLE.

  • SO IT'S VERY, VERY DIFFERENT.

  • I TYPICALLY CAN DO PROBABLY

  • ANYWHERE FROM 50 TO 80 AFIS

  • CASES A MONTH, AND TECHNICALLY

  • PROBABLY ABOUT 10 COMPARATIVE

  • CASES A MONTH, JUST DEPENDING ON

  • THE LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY IN THE

  • CASE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE I

  • ACTUALLY HAVE TO COMPARE THE

  • LATENTS TO.

  • >> SO IT'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT

  • FROM "CSI"?

  • >> DEFINITELY DIFFERENT FROM

  • "CSI".

  • >> ALL RIGHT.

  • AND THEN AS YOU THINK ABOUT

  • OTHER THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO IN

  • THE LAB, WHAT OTHER JOBS IN THE

  • LAB ARE OF INTEREST?

  • >> YOU KNOW, I REALLY LOVE ALL

  • AREAS OF FORENSIC SCIENCE.

  • I FEEL LIKE EVERY SINGLE PART OF

  • FORENSIC SCIENCE IS SO

  • INTERESTING.

  • MY BACKGROUND IS IN MOLECULAR

  • BIOLOGY, SO I DO FIND INTEREST

  • IN THE FORENSIC BIOLOGY SECTION.

  • HOPEFULLY MAYBE ONE DAY THE

  • LABORATORY WILL ALLOW SOME CROSS

  • TRAINING, BUT AS FOR RIGHT NOW

  • I AM A FINGERPRINT EXPERT, AND I

  • REALLY DO ENJOY WHAT I'M DOING.

  • >> AND LAST QUESTION WITHOUT

  • GIVING AWAY ANY SECRET DETAILS,

  • ANY INTERESTING TYPES OF CASES

  • YOU'VE HAD IN YOUR CAREER

  • DEALING WITH FINGERPRINTS OR

  • ANYTHING ELSE?

  • >> I DEAL WITH INTERESTING CASES

  • EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  • I MEAN, IT'S REMARKABLE WHAT YOU

  • CAN FIND A LATENT PRINT OFF OF.

  • I'VE IDENTIFIED AN INDIVIDUAL'S

  • FINGER ON ITEMS SUCH AS A

  • WRAPPER, A STRAW WRAPPER,

  • ASHTRAYS.

  • I BELIEVE SOMEONE'S EVEN LIFTED

  • A PRINT OFF OF HUMAN SKIN.

  • SO, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY,

  • WEAPONS, KNIVES, GUNS.

  • ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT THINGS.

  • SO, YOU KNOW, IT JUST GOES TO

  • SHOW THAT YOU CAN LEAVE BEHIND

  • THIS LITTLE PIECE OF FRICTION

  • SKIN THAT CAN BE IDENTIFIED TO

  • AN INDIVIDUAL, AND A LOT OF

  • PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE HOW LITTLE

  • WE NEED TO ACTUALLY MAKE THAT

  • DETERMINATION.

  • >> AND I'M GUESSING THERE'S A

  • LOT OF SATISFACTION BEING PART

  • OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

  • KNOWING YOU ARE BRINGING JUSTICE

  • FOR THE PEOPLE OF PHOENIX.

  • >> YES, IT'S AMAZING.