Cops Advance With Prints
Police officers in Madison, Wis., have a new tool to help ease the fingerprint backlog at the state Crime Lab, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
The new computer system has two parts: A handheld device that allows quick identification and records a suspect’s fingerprint electronically, and a system that gives investigators the ability to check latent fingerprints that were left on cups, walls, or other objects.
While the program does not provide a definitive match, its produces possible suspects that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The Madison Police Department was able to finance the $80,000 system with a federal grant, notes Police Chief Richard Williams.
The new program will allow officers to reduce office waiting time, and help solve local crimes that are lower on the state’s priority list by giving the officers access to roughly 1 million sets of fingerprints.
Michael Roberts of the Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement Services reports that at least 25 U.S. states have deployed similar systems.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Madison Capital Times (WI) (06/27/03) P. 12C; Elbow, Steven.