Technology Connects Officers To World, But It’s Not Cheap
At a time when technology grants are harder to come by, Connecticut is forcing its police departments to come up with funds in order to keep up with new technology programs.
In September, the state is putting its Offender Based Tracking System (OBTS) online and by next year its ink-based fingerprint system will be replaced by a new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
The $10 million upgrade of the OBTS to an Internet-based system connecting all judicial agencies across the state will give police officers as well as prosecutors, probation officers, and judges immediate access to an individual’s entire criminal record, including driving records, court attendance records, and restraining orders.
Although police departments do not have to pay for the upgrade, departments that purchase mobile computers for their cruisers will be able to provide police officers with access to such information from the side of the road and at the touch of a button; for example, officers would be able to determine if a driver with a child passenger is a registered sex offender or whether a driver pulled over has been ordered to stay away from a house across the street.
The state is still lining up $5 million to $10 million for the new AFIS project, which will require every town to scan their fingerprint cards into the system. Police departments will need to come up with $30,000 to $60,000 for an electronic fingerprint scanner, which will be used to create a system for accessing fingerprint records, including FBI fingerprint records, in real time.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (04/27/03).