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Mobile fingerprint scanners help Richmond County deputies

Thursday, June 14, 2012 4:49 PM
Last updated Friday, June 15, 2012 1:17 AM
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Thanks to new technology installed Thursday in patrol cars, deputies can verify a person’s identity in minutes through mobile fingerprinting.

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Derek Lea installs software that will allow Richmond County sheriff's deputies to fingerprint suspects wirelessly in the field.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Derek Lea installs software that will allow Richmond County sheriff's deputies to fingerprint suspects wirelessly in the field.


“It’s a whole lot faster,” Lt. Jimmy Young said after a morning training session on the scanners.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office used a grant for more than $20,000 to obtain the 12 Rapid ID fingerprint scanners.

Ten of the scanners will be in patrol cars, and two will be in the jail’s booking area.

Young said the devices will be spread among senior officers to ensure that at least two to three devices would be available for every shift.

Additional funding from a grant will provide another five scanners to the Criminal Investigation Division. Those scanners should arrive in the next few weeks.

Young said mobile fingerprinting will eliminate a lot of wasted time.

Before, deputies would have to take people to the jail to run their fingerprints.

Deputies said they frequently run into people who claim to not have ID and lie about their identity. Now all the deputy has to do is have people scan their finger on a device the size of a cellphone.

The device takes an image of the print, wirelessly sends it to the deputy’s laptop and searches through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s database for a match.

Less than a minute after taking the print, deputies will know the name of the person in question, previous booking locations, parole and probation information, and current warrants.

“You wouldn’t get their criminal history, but you would know (whether to look further),” said Stephen Reneke, the project manager for DataWorks Plus, which installed the equipment.

The technology is being used in about 50 agencies in the state. Agencies have already had success.

Reneke said a Florida state trooper used the device during a traffic stop in 2011 and verified the driver as a suburban Atlanta murder suspect who had been sought for eight years.

Richmond County is the first local agency to adopt the technology.

The fingerprinting software can also be used to identify bodies, people in a coma or those with mental illness who can’t speak for themselves.

Comments (6) Add comment
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No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/15/12 - 05:26 am
4
0
A worthwhile investment.

Seems to be a big plus, but is there any problem with unlawful search and seizure and will miranda rights have to be read to an individual before the device is used?

Frank I
1204
Points
Frank I 06/15/12 - 08:00 am
1
0
I see

I see a possible 4th Amendment issue here..

boodroe
1980
Points
boodroe 06/15/12 - 11:56 am
1
0
Using mobile fingerpring detector

You can refuse to identify yourself in the US but you go to jail so will they hold you down and forcibly take scan your fingerprint?

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 06/17/12 - 12:05 am
2
0
Reasonable Suspicion

"Deputies said they frequently run into people who claim to not have ID and lie about their identity. Now all the deputy has to do is have people scan their finger on a device the size of a cellphone."

Under what context will this scanner be used? That issue needs to be clarified not only for the police, but for the public as well.

Is this scanner only used after a person is placed under arrest? For any citizen to be detained, there has to be a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. Since there is no law that requires a person to carry an ID, this could fall into 4th Amendment violations if the scanner is used simply to ID someone without reasonable suspicion.

Riverman1
93843
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 07:28 am
1
0
What if I don't want my fingerprints taken?

What if I don't want my fingerprints taken? See this is the kind of creeping government, police state, control I detest. I have nothing but admiration for officers having to do a difficult job, but I'm sure many of them have questions about this procedure, too. So, an officer, can simply stop and fingerprint anyone, anywhere? People in the car not driving don't have to have ID. People walking, etc. don't need ID. Heck, let's just go ahead and put computer chips in everyone at birth.

Riverman1
93843
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 08:51 am
1
0
"Deputies said they

"Deputies said they frequently run into people who claim to not have ID and lie about their identity."

Let's examine that logic. Deputies often run into people without ID's so it follows the people are lying about their identity. Thus, everyone without ID will be fingerprinted.

I just hope Richmond County settles quickly with the first person to sue them for this stupid innovation. There is no law that says people have to have ID.

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