Electronic Imaging for Police Investigations

I.     Course Prefix/Number: LAE 236

       Course Name: Electronic Imaging for Police Investigations

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores software imaging technology used for law enforcement investigations.  Content includes methods, protocols, and techniques for forensic video analysis and enhancement; composite drawing software, and computer-aided fingerprint identification and comparison.

IV.   Learning Objectives

1. To become familiar with security camera technology, system design and applications, installation practices and video storage methods.
2. To apply the principles of computer-based software imaging to capture, manipulate, stabilize and output to analyze video evidence.
3. To learn to follow best practices in business, the private sector, and police agencies to record, capture, edit, enhance, print and analyze video evidence.
4. To learn the basic elements of video enhancement.
5. To comprehend the fundamentals of fingerprint mechanics, locating and processing latent prints, and producing inked fingerprints correctly.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Unit One
    A. CCTV design and applications
    B. CCTV components and controls
    C. Recording Methods: analog and digital
    D. Retrieving video evidence/loading a source video clip
    E. Video enhancement software and imaging systems
    F. Video enhancement techniques and methods
    G. Presentations in court

Unit Two
    A. Forensic art and illustration
    B. Interviewing techniques
    C. Composite drawing and imaging software' and databases

Unit Three
    A. Fingerprint mechanics
    B. Locating and processing latent prints
    C. Fingerprint taking techniques
    D. Fingerprint classification and comparison
    E. Automated fingerprint identification systems
    F. Software-based AFIS and imaging systems

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This is a hands-on course involving lecture, demonstration, and lab work. Criminal video evidence will be examined using the video analyst and ComPARAprint/SAFIS software. The course may include guest speakers from law enforcement agencies and an optional tour of a forensic/video department. Supplementary materials may include videotapes, lab and criminal investigation kits, electro-optical aids, and forensic light sources.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be expected to prepare for class by reading product manuals/inserts and supplied readings. Assignments will include analysis of videotapes, FACES drawings, ten print inked cards, and direct examination of actual evidence. Students will participate in a critique of these assignments to develop analytical and deductive skills. Students will learn to produce detailed written correspondence, logs, and reports, as well as to effectively report findings orally.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will demonstrate proficiency and understanding of the course material by the following activities. Grades will be calculated according to the listed values:

Test on Unit 1                                  25%
Test on Unit 2                                  25%
Test on Unit 3                                  25%
Class Exercises/Class Participation      15%
Attendance                                       10%

Grading Scale:    A: 100-90    B: 89-80    C: 79-70    D: 69-60    F: 59-0

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.