Creating Digital Faces for Law Enforcement

Creating Digital Faces for Law Enforcement

1st Edition - January 25, 2017

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  • Author: Michael W. Streed
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128052792
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128051023

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Today, law enforcement requires actionable and real-time intelligence; 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help respond to cases efficiently. When evidence is lacking in a case, law enforcement officers are often times left to rely on eyewitness descriptions. In order to quickly disseminate facial composites to news outlets and social media, law enforcement needs to rely on every tool available; including traditional forensic artists and advanced facial composite software. Creating Digital Faces for Law Enforcement provides the proper foundation for obtaining key information needed to create effective facial composites. There are two main methods to create a facial composite, first through traditional forensic art techniques and second by using commercially developed facial composite software. Traditional forensic art has advanced from pen and paper to more enhanced digital tools. This text reviews the development of digital tools used by the forensic artist describing each tool in detail. Creating Digital Faces for Law Enforcement is the first text of its kind to address the creation of digital sketches for forensic artists and software-driven sketches for non-artist/technicians.

Key Features

  • A step-by-step guide addressing the creation of digital, software-driven, sketches for non-artist technicians
  • Includes descriptions supported by both photographs and video demonstrations to assist the reader in better understanding the process
  • Written by an internationally-recognized police sketch artist with over 35 years of experience
  • A companion website page will host author created / narrated videos for reader access


Law Enforcement Investigators (civilian / military), Forensic/Crime Scene Investigators, Crime Analysts, Private Investigators. Forensic Science and Criminal Justice College / University Students (2/4 year programs)

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Pencils to Pixels

    • Identi-Kit
    • Early Police Sketch Artists
    • Federal Forensic Artists
    • Photo-Fit
    • FACES
    • SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System Software

    Chapter 2. Getting Started

    • How to Position Yourself to Become a Forensic Artist
    • Budgetary Considerations
    • Marketing/Self-promotion
    • Tech Trends
    • Going Back to School
    • Negotiating Your Department's Support
    • Developing Mentors
    • Professional Organizations
    • Developing Your Own Style
    • Putting Your Skills to Work
    • The Business Side of Forensic Art
    • Equipment Considerations

    Chapter 3. When, Where, Why, and How?

    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • How?

    Chapter 4. The Eyewitness

    • Sexual Assault
    • Interviewing LGBT
    • Immigrants
    • Interviewing Children
    • Elderly Eyewitnesses

    Chapter 5. The Interview

    • Preparing for the Interview
    • The Eyewitness
    • Interview Location
    • Meeting the Eyewitness
    • The Cognitive Interview
    • Key Review Points When Conducting the Eyewitness Interview
    • Remote Facial Composite Interviews

    Chapter 6. The Human Face

    • Facial Proportion

    Chapter 7. Courtroom Testimony

    • Subpoena
    • Subpoena Duces Tecum
    • Evidence
    • Pretrial meeting
    • Dress Code/Grooming
    • Testifying
    • Case Study: People Versus Michael Todd Lopez

    Chapter 8. Lights, Camera…Facial Composites in the Media

    • Release of Composite Images Should Not Be Automatic
    • Play Fair
    • Be Complete
    • Size Matters
    • Cautionary Tales
    • The Forensic Artist in the News
    • Proper Attire
    • Demeanor
    • Interviews
    • Facial Composite Demo
    • Branding
    • Brand Logo
    • Social Media
    • Case Studies

    Chapter 9. Digital Tools

    • Why Go Digital?
    • Pen Tablet and Pen
    • The Cintiq Companion

    Chapter 10. Let's Make Faces

    • SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System
    • Program Features and Benefits
    • System Requirements
    • Other Considerations
    • Making Faces With SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System
    • Methods for Creating Composite Images
    • Edit Facial Components
    • Modification Tools
    • Grouping Components
    • Frontalis Facial Composite System
    • Program Features and Benefits
    • System Requirements
    • Other Considerations
    • Making Faces With Frontalis Facial Composite System
    • Creating Digital Composites for Traditional Forensic Artists

    Chapter 11. Change-a-Face

    • Enhancing Your Facial Composite
    • Inside Adobe Photoshop
    • File
    • Adding Elements to Your Facial Composite
    • Subtracting Elements From Your Facial Composite
    • Creating Libraries

    Chapter 12. Putting It All Together

    • Making the Appointment
    • Scheduling
    • Communications
    • Meeting the Eyewitness
    • Constructing the Facial Composite
    • Completing the Facial Composite Interview

    Chapter 13. Facing the Future

    • Facial Composite Software
    • DNA Composites
    • Facial Recognition and Pose Correction Software
    • Forensic Artists of the Future
    • Academic Influence
    • Closing Thoughts

    Appendix A. Forensic Facial Imaging Unit Technical Training Manual

    Appendix B. Forensic Facial Imaging Unit Standard Operating Procedures

    Appendix C. Forensic Facial Imaging Unit Services Request Form

    Appendix D. Eyewitness Interview Worksheet

    Appendix E. Facial Composite Report Form

    Appendix F. Determining Spatial Relationships

    Appendix G. Facial Composite Template Example: The Average Face

    Appendix H. Facial Composite Template

    Appendix I. Approximating Age in Facial Composites

    Appendix J. Facial Muscles Versus Facial Lines/Wrinkles

    Appendix K. Common Facial Bone Structure to Consider When Creating Facial Composites

    Appendix L. Comparison of How Facial Features Line Up on the Skull

    Forensic Art Terminology

    Wacom Tablet Terminology

    Corel Painter Terminology

    Adobe Photoshop Terminology

Product details

  • No. of pages: 418
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: January 25, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128052792
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128051023

About the Author

Michael W. Streed

Michael W. Streed is an internationally-recognized police sketch artist based in Southern California. For 35 years he has blended his rich law enforcement experience and artistic skills to provide forensic facial imaging services to some of the largest, most diverse, police agencies in the United States, including the Los Angeles and Baltimore City Police Departments. During his distinguished law enforcement career Michael investigated a variety of violent crimes, sexual assaults and juvenile-related crime. This helped him develop highly-specialized interview skills which he adapted for his role as a police sketch artist. Michael’s unique perspective on eyewitnesses, coupled with his superior communication skills made him one of Southern California’s most sought after police sketch artists. This led him to successfully develop police sketches for many high-profile cases such as: the Samantha Runnion murder, the Anthony Martinez murder, the Baton Rouge serial killer, and Orange County’s (CA) Fortune Teller murder.

Michael has long been recognized for his contributions to law enforcement through his use of forensic art. He has received several prestigious awards, including: the Orange Police Department Award of Merit, United States Congressional Certificate of Recognition, The American Legion Award and a nomination for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Medal of Valor. Many of his cases have been profiled on such shows as: ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and ‘Unsolved Mysteries’. He has also been profiled in several major newspapers and has been interviewed on: CNN with Connie Chung, Fox News Channel, ABC’s 20/20 with Barbara Walters and ID Discovery’s show “Wicked Attraction: Bad Fortune.” Michael is also a noted author and popular lecturer on the subject of facial imaging/identification and true crime. Michael recognized law enforcement’s need for a digital composite imaging solution. He created SketchCop FACETTE Face Design System, an innovative software program that helps law enforcement personnel create high-quality digital composite images. Michael also trains law enforcement personnel and forensic science students in the use of the software.

Affiliations and Expertise

Police Sergeant (Ret.), International Association for Identification, Certified Forensic Ar

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