Cashin, William E

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Cashin, William E.


William E. Cashin served the New York State Police Department in various positions for almost 45 years, most notably in the role of Director of the Division of Criminal Identification. Under his leadership, the division made groundbreaking strides in advancing the technology available for criminal investigations. Cashin also introduced a new system for searching latent prints. Officials from countries around the world came to New York to study and observe the new technologies Cashin's team was using. For his work, Cashin received numerous awards from various professional organizations.

Born in New Jersey in 1904, Cashin was fascinated with horses and became a trick rider as a youth. When he chose his career, he picked one that involved his equestrian interests, and joined the New York State Police. There he was able to trick ride as part of his job. But in 1926, he fractured his pelvis and had to give up riding. During his recovery, he became interested in fingerprint identification, and sought tutoring to help him learn about the field. When he returned to work, Cashin established a Bureau of Identification for his division and became a fingerprint instructor at the State Police School.

During the next phase of his career, Cashin moved up the ranks in his division and continued to study and research the area of fingerprints and personal identification. In 1936, he became the Director of the Division of Criminal Identification. In this role, he installed the first automated fingerprint searching machines and a machine that searched through files of physical descriptions. He also started a new system of searching latent fingerprints. Because of these advances, fingerprint experts from around the world came to study Cashin's department and observe the new technology at work.

In 1960, Cashin retired from New York State and accepted a position with the U.S. State Department, where he worked as an identification advisor in countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, and the Philippines. For his visionary leadership, Cashin received the 1956 Governor Charles E. Hughes Award, and the 1960 John A. Dondero Award from the International Association for Identification , given in recognition for those who have made substantial contributions to the science of forensic identification.

see also Careers in forensic science; Technology and forensic science.