Fingerprinting Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Fingerprinting Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

The Fingerprinting merit badge is a pretty easy and fun badge for Boy Scouts to earn. It might be of special interest to Scouts who are considering a career in law enforcement.

In earning the Fingerprinting merit badge, Scouts will learn about and use an important technique that is used by law enforcement officers, along with other materials like matching dental records and DNA sampling, to help identify amnesia victims, missing persons, abducted children, and others.

Fingerprinting Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Give a short history of fingerprinting. Tell the difference between civil and criminal identification.
  2. Explain the difference between the automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) now used by some law enforcement agencies and the bio-metric fingerprint systems used to control access to places like buildings, airports, and computer rooms.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Name the surfaces of the body where friction or papillary ridges are found.
    2. Name the two basic principles supporting the science of fingerprints and give a brief explanation of each principle.
    3. Explain what it takes to positively identify a person using fingerprints.
  4. Take a clear set of prints using ONE of the following methods.
    1. Make both rolled and plain impressions. Make these on an 8-by-8-inch fingerprint identification card, available from your local police department or your counselor.
    2. Using clear adhesive tape, a pencil, and plain paper, record your own fingerprints or those of another person.
  5. Show your merit badge counselor you can identify the three basic types of fingerprint patterns and their subcategories. Using your own hand, identify the types of patterns you see.
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