Michelle Meder’s career in biometrics began in her hometown of Clarksburg, W.V. when she was hired by the FBI in 1994. “I knew that I wanted to work in law enforcement, and it was a perfect opportunity for me when the Identification Division relocated from Washington, DC,” Meder says.
She quickly moved from mail and file clerk to fingerprint examiner. She’s now a supervisory management and program analyst in the FBI’s Latent and Forensic Support Unit, managing the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System’s automated latent investigative services. “It’s a lot of work. We’re 24/7. So it never stops,” Meder says. “But I really can’t imagine doing anything but what I’m doing today.”
Meder’s proudest accomplishment:
“Within our legacy biometrics system – the integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System – we deployed automated latent investigative services to the law enforcement and intelligence community; however, there was no personnel support dedicated to managing these services. I assisted in developing an operational business line within the Criminal Justice Information Services Division that now provides research, analytical, and project management support to law enforcement and the Intelligence Community as they access these services to identify suspects within criminal and terrorism investigations.
This business line is also responsible for further enhancing latent investigative services – such as utilizing such technology to positively identify individuals mutilating their fingerprints to avoid detection within automated biometric identification systems.”
Meder’s team also provides analytical support during critical incidents like the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and last year’s series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.
“We are providing support to the latent print examiners processing the evidence in those cases or to the law enforcement officials that are investigating the case,” Meder says. “When I leave here each day, I truly feel like I have made a difference in some way whether it be a robbery or a terrorism investigation.”