U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Capturing Snow Impressions

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 57 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2009 Pages: 14,16,18,20
Tom Adair
Date Published
November 2009
4 pages
This article provides law enforcements officers with simple and cost-effective ways to capture footwear impressions in the snow for use in the laboratory.
Police officers are reluctant to perform evidence collection tasks due to their lack of familiarity and lack of practice in performing evidence collection. One area that presents problems for officers in evidence collection is the documentation of footwear impressions in snow. This article presents officers with simple and cost-effective techniques to capture footwear impressions in the snow. These techniques are presented in the areas of 1) photographing in context, 2) photographing the impression, 3) proper scale in the proper plane, 4) highlighting the impression, and 5) casting impressions. The key to effectively collecting snow impressions is having the proper materials and being familiar with their use, as well establishing a comfort level through practice.