Jessica Cofflinski began her career by mentoring in latent print examination with Henrico County Police Department in 2014. In 2015, she secured a tenprint analyst job, which she worked full time while continuing college coursework and her mentorship. She graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Forensic Biology from Virginia
Commonwealth University. Shortly after, she began work as a latent print examiner in Virginia and continues to work in local police departments. She received the “Detective of the Quarter” award for her work on a serial burglary in 2019 and achieved her professional goal of becoming a Certified Latent Print Examiner (CPLE) through the International Association for Identification in 2022.
In the course of her career, she was also a certified Evidence Technician with Roanoke Police Department, where she conducted varying forensic lab work, and assisted in processing large scenes. She began training police officers in basic forensic procedures in 2019, and later also taught more advanced courses on latent prints and forensic biology. She has lectured to a diverse mix: from college classes to police academies to girl scout meetings and everything in-between. Wherever she goes, she hopes she ignites people’s curiosity, as she passionately believes no one should ever stop learning. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.” To this end, she has over 180 hours of continuing education in a range of forensic topics, and hopes to attend more at the first chance. Jessica is a self-diagnosed “forensic nerd” with a specific interest in new and emerging technology which can be applied to all casework- especially those that are historically difficult for conventional processing methods. Her primary focus has been on reliably processing fired cartridges for fingerprints and DNA, and on new processes to apply on cold cases. To this end, she proposed and led the acquisition of a Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) chamber, which she is trained to operate and maintain. She is constantly reviewing new technologies, chemicals, and processes to expand lab capabilities. She believes everything is solvable- it’s a question of whether we have the knowledge and capability to do so yet.