The Owner

Dwane Hilderbrand, M.ED

Certified Latent Print Examiner, Certified Footwear Examiner, and a Member of NACDL


Dwane was born in Paris, France (his father was there with the United States Air Force). Although he did live most of his young life in Virginia until he moved to Arizona in 1981 where he and his family now reside, he considers the “South” to be his home.

Dwane and his wife, Donna are residents of Scottsdale, Arizona and have two children; Jennifer Lynn and Jason Christopher. Jennifer is a Kindergarten teacher and Jason is a United States Marine.

Subsequent to Dwane’s studies in Police and Forensic Science, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix followed by a Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University with Honors and Distinction.

Dwane began his distinguished criminal justice career in 1975 with his employment in the Identification Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, located in Washington, D.C. He left the FBI in 1978 and went to the Virginia State Police. However, he accepted a position a week later as Identification Technician with the Prince William County Police Department in Woodbridge, Virginia, where he was employed until 1981, when he was offered a forensic identification and crime scene position with the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department. Dwane dedicated the remainder of his government career to the development of his advanced technical analytical and testimonial skills and retired in October of 2005 with twenty-five (25) years of service to the citizens of Scottsdale, Arizona. After his retirement he accepted a full time position as a Senior Consultant and Instructor with Ron Smith and Associates, Inc. which is based out of Collinsville, Mississippi. Dwane left Ron Smith and Associates, Inc and in November 2009 made the decision to full fill a lifelong dream of owning his own private forensic identification training and consulting business.

Dwane is highly skilled in a variety of forensic identification sciences but specializes in latent prints, crime scenes, ridgeology, the identification of deceased persons and footwear/tire track impression evidence. He is a Certified Latent Print Examiner and a Certified Footwear Examiner through the International Association for Identification. He is also a Certified Teacher with the Maricopa County Community Colleges and Grand Canyon University, in Arizona where he help to design their crime scene investigator’s certificate program.

Dwane has taught many students in the science of fingerprints, the identification of deceased persons at various stages of decomposition and crime scene investigation and management. He has also taught many students in various aspects of forensic identification science and NOW specializes in footwear and tire track impression evidence of which he has trained many crime scene investigators and examiners around the United States and foreign countries.

Dwane’s ideas and planning along with another individual makes him responsible for the first computerized Automated Shoe Identification System within the Scottsdale Police Department’s Crime Laboratory. Dwane has done consultation and training for the Lynn Peavey, EVI-PAQ, and ODV companies, as well as the Phoenix Group (designers of the AFIX Tracker), which are now AFIX Technologies an L1 company. Dwane was award Emeritus membership to the America Society of Forensic Podiatry in 2004 for his contributions to the advancement of the science.

Dwane has consulted on various high profile cases, various mystery writers and TV shows. Dwane testified in 2009 in the first footwear case in Jamaican history in Kingston, Jamaican. Dwane also has worked many cases aboard including the Anguilla Islands. Dwane has taught and instructed Evidence Technology I and II level courses, Criminalistics I and assisted in the coordinating of the Internship program for crime scene investigator students at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, Arizona, and his presently an Adjunct Faculty member with Grand Canyon University. He has designed and implemented four classes in footwear and tire tracks for the colleges. He has given presentations and has taught classes for many International Association for Identification state divisions, as well as the International Association for Identification, the Phoenix Police Academy, the European Footwear/Toolmark Examiners symposium in Vantaa, Finland and many law enforcement agencies around the United States. He has travelled teaching various forensic identification sciences. He designed and implemented a full-blown formal training program (9 months program) for the National Forensic Science Technology Centre in Clearwater, Florida, where he has now trained 35 new footwear and tire track examiner. He is one of the co-authors of the Crime Scene Manual presently used at the Scottsdale Police Department. He has written and published numerous articles in various publications. He is the author of the world renowned book entitled Footwear, The Missed Evidence: A guide to forensic footwear impression evidence, 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions. Dwane has also had various photographs of case-work published within many forensic books and materials.

Dwane served 9 years on the International Association for Identification’s (I.A.I.) Board of Directors and 10 years on the International Footwear and Tire Track Subcommittee. Dwane has also served on various other committees’ within the I.A.I. and with his state division. He was one of six members assigned to a specialized committee to research the feasibility of Forensic Podiatry as a discipline within the IAI. He was the training coordinator for the IAI under their Training-Seminars from 1998-2003. He has been awarded the Distinguished Member award from the International Association for Identification, the Scottsdale Police’s Meritorious Service award and Member Emeritus to the American Society of Forensic Podiatry. Dwane has received numerous awards and citation through-out his career including; letters of commendation from the Crown Prosecution and Crown Defense, Kingston, Jamaica, the Crown Prosecution from the Anguilla Island Police Department, former Congressman John McCain and former President Ronald Reagan and appreciation awards from the National Bureau of Investigations in Vantaa, Finland and the Switzerland Police Force. He was recently appointed to the National Institute of Science and Technology-Organizational Science Area Committees (OSAC).

Dwane has also served on or belonged to many other governmental boards and community service organizations, including the Federal Mass Disaster Team, Southwest Association for Forensic Scientist, The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, American Society of Forensic Podiatry and the National Academy of Forensic Science.

Dwane loves baseball and played most of his life (until he got too old to run the bases). Dwane enjoys scuba diving, hunting, fishing and pistol/rifle competitions with his son. Dwane is a Certified Advanced PADI Scuba Diver and specializes in search and recovery. Dwane was once a professional clown and “quick drawer” with western revolvers.

Dwane has served his community as a certified umpire for District 6 Little League, a coach for District 6 and served on the District 6 Little League Board of Directors. Dwane has presented many classes in forensic science within the Scottsdale/Phoenix/Paradise Valley school districts from 6th grade to 12th grade.

Dwane is a husband and dad, first.