As an independent fingerprint examiner I get the side eye from my professional peers who continue to work under a law enforcement entity. The stigma usually is that those who work under a law enforcement entity also works for the prosecution (DA's Office) and not for the Public Defender's Office, NOT TRUE.
Those who are independent fingerprint examiners or any independent forensic practitioner appears to have the stigma that they only work for the Public Defender, NOT TRUE. The Public Defender is viewed as "the other side" or the "darkside" because they defend the accused.
The only side I work for is the science of fingerprints and for the standard practice within the forensic community. I take all clients, law enforcement, public defenders, private attorneys and civilians, who needs may forensic expertise.
I came from a law enforcement background, 30+ years. I use to have that same thought, D.A. good, Defense bad. Until I left under law enforcement in 2013.
I have seen good and bad fingerprint examiners throughout my career as is the same in any profession. It takes a few bad apples to place a stigma across a profession. We see that on TV every day.
As long as you stay true to your forensic discipline, don't sway from your scientific purpose or practice, don't cut corners to save time, look good or have a fast turnaround time- you too will only work for your forensic science discipline.
Just the Facts!