Friday, April 22, 2011

City Factoid - Fingerprinting Not Always Practical

Victims of crimes may wonder why Police Officers don’t always take finger prints from the scene, like they see happen in the movies. However, crime scene situations, capabilities and results depicted in movies and on TV are for entertainment value and differ greatly from actual investigations. Conditions must be just right for a fingerprint to be left on an item, to remain on the item for a period of time, and for the fingerprint to be recovered in a usable form. To be effective, the surface of an item must be smooth, non-porous, clean and dry. If it does not fit all four requirements, the chances of lifting a usable print are minimal. Many modern materials (car interiors, computers, etc.) have a texture or grainy surface that may appear relatively smooth but in reality leave the item nearly impossible to print.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Interesting Fact (but not Walnut Hills related.)

The man-made lagoon with the bright blue water along the south side of Route 4 near the Findlay Street exit is related to the Water Department’s water softening process. The Water Department uses what is commonly known as quick lime as a softening agent in its water treatment process. Most of the byproducts created by this process are normally recovered by Dayton’s Lime Reclamation Facility. However, twice each year, the Reclamation Facility is taken offline for cleaning and inspection. During this time, the excess byproducts are pumped directly to the lagoon, giving the water its vivid blue or green color. When the lagoon contains too much lime, it is dredged and the product is sold off as an application on farmland to enrich the soil.