Background checks made easier with no-mess fingerprinting
Police in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have begun using a high-tech fingerprinting system that scans fingerprints electronically, an alternative to messy ink fingerprint cards that some employers require for background checks. The Live Scan fingerprint device is about the size of a tissue box and can process fingerprints much faster than traditional methods, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Doing background checks with manual fingerprinting involves mailing ink fingerprint cards for review to the FBI or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, a process that can take up to 18 weeks. Electronic fingerprinting, Fort Lauderdale officials said, allows law enforcement agencies to process fingerprints in just a few days.
“Ultimately, we would hope that Live Scan would replace the antiquated system of having the print cards,” Fort Lauderdale detective DeAnna Garcia told the Sun-Sentinel. “The wave of the future is to be paperless.”
The new system also avoids another pitfall of manual fingerprinting, by reducing the possibility of smudged or damaged prints. The technology is designed to produce high-quality images with safeguards to prevent transmitting poor quality prints, according to the newspaper.
Aside from Fort Lauderdale, other Broward County agencies also use electronic fingerprinting. The system is currently is use at the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Broward County School District.
Fort Lauderdale police provide electronic fingerprinting service for city residents for a $10 charge, $15 for non-residents. Prints made for background checks are not kept on file.