Forensic Identification Services insignia

Forensic Identification Services is committed to identifying individuals and analyzing forensic evidence in a professional, objective and efficient manner.

Forensic Identification Services, located at 2050 Jane Street, provides service on a 24 hour basis for the City of Toronto. FIS is an operational service unit providing support to all divisions and investigative units in the Toronto Police Service.

The unit is divided into several sections, each with specific areas of responsibility:


Staffed primarily by civilian Fingerprint Examiners, are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the LIvescan digital fingerprint capture system and the computerized fingerprint search and storage system.

Biometrics Section

Staffed by civilians, the Biometrics Section is responsible for preparing photo line-ups from victims and witnesses for investigative purposes, maintaining the digital mugshot system, and training members in the use of Intellibook and Livescan systems.


Staffed by a forensic artist, is responsible for producing facial composites, aging, restorations and skull reconstructions to aid police investigations.

Crime Lab

Staffed by Forensic Identification Specialists, are responsible for examining physical evidence from major crime scenes for fingerprints and restoring serial numbers using advanced techniques.

DNA Co-ordinator

Staffed by a civilian member, is responsible for acting as the Toronto Police liaison with the Centre of Forensic Sciences (the provincial crime lab) to investigate hits from DNA submissions.

Document Section

Staffed by a civilian Fingerprint Examiner and a Document Technician, they are responsible for the chemical treatment and examination of criminal writings for fingerprints.

Photo Section

Staffed by civilian Photo Technicians, are responsible for processing images from crime scenes and other police - related events and producing photographic products for investigative and court purposes.

Plan Drawing

Staffed by a civilian drafting technicians, are responsible for measurements of major crime scenes and the production of scale representations in the form of 2 dimensional charts and 3 dimensional models.

Scenes of Crime

Staffed primarily by Forensic Identification Officers, is responsible for assisting investigative units through the examination, collection and documentation of physical evidence found at crime scenes and subsequent presentation in court.

Training Section

Staffed by Forensic Identification Officers, is responsible for coordinating training of members, presentations and operation of the uniform Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) program.

FIS Waltz

At Forensic Identification Services (FIS) both police officers and civilians use science to solve crimes. Forensic Identification Officers collect evidence over the course of hours and sometimes days in order to paint a complete picture of a crime for the courtroom. Officers use many tools to capture fingerprints, detect traces of blood, recreate a crime scene and analyze what they have found. Civilian members are employed to compare fingerprints, process photographs, create drawings and models as well as create composite drawings of suspects or victims of crime.

The “FIS Waltz” video captures some of the techniques and work of members of Forensic Identification Services, listed by chronological scene below:

  1. A 3D laser scanner for scene documentation and analysis. The scanner head spins to capture 940,000 bits of information per second to recreate the scene in 3D (see item #10 below).
  2. A digital camera is used to capture crime-scene fingerprints and search these fingerprints in the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Information System) computer database.
  3. An officer uses a tracer laser to create an alternate light source to fluoresce chemically treated fingerprints.
  4. Trajectory Lasers are used to establish the path of a projectile, such as a bullet. Working back from the bullets holes, the trajectory lasers are used to determine the specific location of the shooter.
  5. Fingerprint powder is brushed on a surface to develop previously invisible fingerprints.
  6. Fingerprints are seen rotating on an AFIS computer screen. The prints can be rotated to align them to the orientation of the other print being compared.
  7. An alternate (ultraviolet) light source is used to illuminate various stains not detectable by the naked eye.
  8. A document is treated with Indanedione to expose purplish fingerprints. The same document is then examined with a laser to enhance the fingerprints.
  9. A 3D rendering of a facial reconstruction created by the C.A.R.E.S. (Computer Assisted Recovery Enhancement System) section. The reconstruction can simulate what a person may have looked like when only a skull is recovered.
  10. A fly-through rendering from a 3D laser scanner. Reconstruction of the crime scene can now be presented to a jury in minute detail.
  11. Stain surrounding knife is treated with a blood reagent causing the blood to glow in the dark in order to examine the crime scene.
  12. An eyedropper is used to mix chemicals used to enhance fingerprints or bloodstains.
  13. A hammer strikes a blood covered puck is used to simulate an attack and reproduce the subsequent blood spatter so the bloodstain pattern can be analyzed.
  14. An architectural model of a crime scene can be built to assist with the court presentation of evidence.
  15. A Forensic Identification Services challenge coin carried by members of FIS.