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Mobile fingerprint scanner paying off for Richmond County police

Sunday, June 16, 2013 7:14 PM
Last updated Monday, June 17, 2013 5:28 AM
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A hand-held piece of technology adopted by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office last year has dropped the identification of suspects to minutes, according to authorities.

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Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Billy Jones holds a mobile fingerprint scanner. The agency bought 17 last year, and it has purchased 10 more.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Billy Jones holds a mobile fingerprint scanner. The agency bought 17 last year, and it has purchased 10 more.


“They’re a valuable tool,” Capt. Scott Gay said of the mobile fingerprint scanners. “They help
us ID folks who try to be misleading.”

The sheriff’s office bought 17 Rapid ID fingerprint scanners with a grant of more than $20,000 in June 2012. Two of the larger, hard-wired scanners were placed in the jail. The cellphone-size scanners are used throughout the department.

The sheriff’s office was the first local agency to adopt the technology.

Once a finger is scanned on the digital screen, police can have identification information in about a minute.

Police said they often encounter people who either refuse to give their identification or are deceitful about their identity.

In the past, a person who was booked into the jail with a false identity might not be caught for some time. When they were caught, it meant a mound of paperwork for deputies as they had to fix all of the incorrect files.

Sgt. Jimmy Young said the paperwork corrections could take hours, keeping a deputy in an office instead of out patrolling the streets.

“They save a ton of man-hours and extra paperwork,” Young said.

Sgt. Harold Hitchcock, of the special operations unit, said people will have second thoughts about lying once they’re told their fingerprints will be scanned.

Police said the scanners can also be used to identify a body or someone in a coma.

So far, Young said, the department has only used the scanners to confirm, not identify, homicide victims.

Because of the first year’s success, the sheriff’s office has purchased 10 additional scanners.

“As everyone knows, we work with limited resources and limited people to begin with,” Young said. “Anytime you can find a way to do things more efficiently, you should.”

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Dixieman
16479
Points
Dixieman 06/16/13 - 08:45 pm
8
0
Give me thumbs up or Dixieman gets all your points!

Good technology which will help find and jail miscreants faster and get the innocent our of jail faster. What's not to like?

itsanotherday1
46701
Points
itsanotherday1 06/16/13 - 11:18 pm
5
2
I like it, provided scans of

I like it, provided scans of the innocent are not stored. I say that for the same reason that I believe DNA of the not guilty should be destroyed. Now, when you are charged, you have FP's and a mugshot published. That is just wrong unless you are adjudicated as guilty.

Young Fred
19336
Points
Young Fred 06/17/13 - 12:34 am
1
2
Good technology which will

Good technology which will help find and jail miscreants faster and get the innocent our of jail faster. What's not to like?

"and get the innocent out of jail faster" LOL

I can just see it. Our "officials" going around to all those in jail, scanning their fingertips, and having convictions overturned for some. Yeh, that's a nice picture you've painted.

wribbs
474
Points
wribbs 06/17/13 - 05:35 am
3
1
Your papers please....you do

Your papers please....you do not have ze papers?

nocnoc
46914
Points
nocnoc 06/17/13 - 05:43 am
4
1
I will support the use of

I will support the use of technology, as long as it is NOT
randomly and indiscriminately applied and meets the required constitutional justifications.

But with ability comes great responsibility.

I don't want to see the RCSO stopping every white or black male walking down the street that are between the ages of 18 & 40 on
what if's, and maybe's.

BTW:
Every one that get a drivers license in GA. must provide a finger print. So can RCSO verify us are without a Drivers license and will we soon see some understanding about forgetting a wallet with a quick ID thumb scan?

Just My Opinion
6064
Points
Just My Opinion 06/17/13 - 05:54 am
2
1
itsanother, maybe I'm missing

itsanother, maybe I'm missing something, but what's the problem with retaining the record of an innocent person's thumbprint? If someone is innocent now, it doesn't mean that they won't be innocent at some later date, right? And if they are innocent later, then fine. If it's going to help in apprehending the guilty and dismissing the innocent person, I'm okay with it.

nocnoc
46914
Points
nocnoc 06/17/13 - 06:51 am
2
2
The law works in funny

The law works in funny ways.

It is call precedent.
Given how the law works once precedent has been established it open doors to other activities.

Well let me paint the same picture using different criteria.

The IRS Agent knocks on your door.
Sir/Mandame we need to scan the bar codes on your house hold items.

We need to make sure you paid the Share the Wealth taxes on certain items.

Of course officer I have nothing to hide....?
(I hope ....today)

itsanotherday1
46701
Points
itsanotherday1 06/17/13 - 07:36 am
6
0
JMO

Fouth Amendment was was added for a reason.

seenitB4
93348
Points
seenitB4 06/17/13 - 08:03 am
3
2
The Giverment

Nothing is impossible with them...ya hear me now.

bclicious
756
Points
bclicious 06/17/13 - 08:12 am
5
0
It's legal

It doesn't take much to reach reasonable suspicion to detain someone for a brief period (Terry v. Ohio).

With that in mind; there are have been about a dozen supreme court precedents which state that you have to identify yourself to law enforcement. We have a right to know who we are talking to.

If we can do it more accurately and quickly by using the latest in technology, than everybody minus the criminals wins.

The public wins by us (police) keeping criminals off the streets, and we (police) win by increasing the chances that we catch a criminal before it jeopardizes our safety.

I only wish retina scans were available as opposed to fingerprint scans.

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 06/17/13 - 08:39 am
3
1
retina scans?

You have been watching too many movies. It's the iris scan that is the cheap and easy one.

But to have the comparison information, everyone would need to have their iris scanned into a central data base.

I am all for technology being used, but we need to be sure that the potential for abuse is our FIRST and only concern.

I really don't see how this could be abused, but then again, I am not trying to find a way either.

itsanotherday1
46701
Points
itsanotherday1 06/17/13 - 08:54 am
2
1
bclicious

I totally agree with your position about catching criminals, I just get nervous about cataloguing biometrics on people who have done nothing.
I understand that we need a positive ID system to track certain people, but there is too much potential for abuse.

Scenario: Chester the Molester is also a pretty good computer hacker. He hacks into the FP database and changes the label on his FP record to "bclicious". Chester does his thing, leaves prints, and bclicious gets run through the wringer until they figure out his FP's don't match.

Sounds very far fetched you say? Think about the gov systems that have been hacked and it isn't as far as you think.

Young Fred
19336
Points
Young Fred 06/17/13 - 09:18 am
2
1
itsanotherday

Let’s take your scenario in a slightly different direction.

Take your average mid-level, overworked (he/she thinks) “data analyst”. Mr. Big Level Elected Official walks into his office, unannounced one Monday morning, and informs Mr. Midlevel, that he’d be doing the country a favor, if he’d switch a couple files around.

Bingo – as quick as a few keystrokes, Chester the Molester’s data know “belongs” to Mr. Big Donator to the Opposition Candidate. CNBC, CNN, ABC, etc “get wind” of the information and a man’s life is ruined. All because he tried to help the “wrong” person.

People, we need to think about this long and hard. I keep hearing the “if you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s the worry?” excuse over and over again. Keep giving more power to mere people, and abuse WILL happen. It’s only a matter of how bad and how much abuse.

Darby
28257
Points
Darby 06/17/13 - 09:32 am
5
1
JMO - "If someone is innocent now, it doesn't

mean that they won't be innocent at some later date, right?"

.
As a computer geek, I'm alway leery of folks playing God with our lives. If you take a print digitally, it can be reproduced digitally. Opening the door to all sorts of mischief down the road.

The law should require that all such prints of anyone not convicted (or pleading guilty) must be destroyed. Failure to do so, must be a crime in itself.

As a matter-of-fact, I'd require that a program be built into the system to automatically delete such prints after a given period. For example, after thirty days if no conviction or other criminal activity surfaces.

To presume that every innocent person is a potential criminal is a threat to our personal freedom and security.

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 06/17/13 - 01:59 pm
5
1
The Problem With Forced Fingerprinting

The problem with the smaller cell phone sized version is law enforcement can use it on someone who is not under arrest and has shown a proper ID. If an officer asks me my name and I give it to him, plus show him an ID, he has no right to fingerprint me. If I'm not being charged with anything undergoing fingerprinting against my will violates my constitutional rights. If the officer thinks I'm not who the ID says, he can charge me and THEN fingerprint me. I'm not giving in one iota on constitutional rights. As someone said, this is simply another version of "Show me your papers."

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 06/17/13 - 09:55 am
4
1
It's interesting that no

It's interesting that no mention is made in the article that the prints are not saved in a database. I'm almost willing to bet they are kept. If officers can fingerprint people who have not been charged with a crime just to verify they are who they say they are, we should burn the Bill of Rights. Drive up to a DUI checkpoint and be fingerprinted while they are at it. It's toooo much.

Rather
56
Points
Rather 06/17/13 - 09:55 am
3
0
IPHONE ?

I would think an app could be developed for an iPhone a lot cheaper than what these cost.

nocnoc
46914
Points
nocnoc 06/17/13 - 10:42 am
3
0
How to fake a fingerprint

No technology is safe from hacking.

To avoid fake prints many places now have you wipe your hands
"so they can get a clean print", as they say.

http://www.wikihow.com/Fake-Fingerprints

http://www.holisticsurvival.com/if-its-this-easy-to-fake-fingerprints/

nocnoc
46914
Points
nocnoc 06/17/13 - 10:59 am
3
0
Darby - points out a problem

Its a digital age we have seen the use of CG (computer graphics) become so real, do we know what it real anymore?

There 100's of cheap solutions under $5,000.00 (nothing for a
Gov to purchase) that can produce convincing videos of me shooting myself as myself. 2 people - both me.

Add to that NO where have I recently seen, that our current Federal Government & Federal Agencies can be remotely considered above reproach?

Sweet son
11070
Points
Sweet son 06/17/13 - 11:23 am
3
0
First thing. If you are walking down the road or sidewalk and

not committing any crime or violating any ordinances you do not have to identify yourself. Therefore there would be no legal precedent that would require you to give the officer your print.

Second thing. If you are driving and stopped with probable cause for a traffic offense, if you present your driver's license and other documents that are requested then you should not be compelled to give your fingerprint. If the officer wants your print/prints then he/she should not issue a courtesy ticket but should take you to jail. Then when you are booked into the jail they will take and have a full set of your prints.

If not used carefully, the devices border on illegal searches! Riverman is right!

Correct me if I am wrong or you have differing opinions.

SheilaJ15
476
Points
SheilaJ15 06/17/13 - 01:22 pm
0
0
I wished that they had this technology around years ago

If this technology had been available years ago, I would not have sat in jail on false charges. IDs such as driver’s license does not always help prove who the person really is. A parolee, Anita Hess, stole my driver’s license and a year later she got picked up for shop lifting. When booked she gave them my driver’s license and they accepted it as proof of identification. One month later when she didn’t show up on court for her shop lifting charges, they arrested me for not showing up in court. No matter how much I begged them to check the photo of the person that they arrested the night of her arrest, they refused. (I was not innocent until proven guilty!). I had never been in jail in my whole life so you can imagine the nightmare I went through. If they had this technology back then and used it on her, I would never went to jail for something I did not do! So this technology could protect the innocent as well as identifying the criminal! And yes, they kept “my record” and for 16 years I had a hard time getting a good job because “my record” was not deleted—the final records said there was not enough evidence to convict me! If not for this newspaper telling the true story, all my friends and family would have thought I was a shop lifter.

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 06/17/13 - 03:06 pm
2
1
Goal Is To Fingerprint Every American

Will the RCSO give us a definitive answer that the fingerprint data of those who are confirmed to be who they say will not have their fingerprint data stored or shared with federal authorities? From my reading, I believe it is given to the FBI.

I’m trying to think of a good example of how this fingerprinting could come into play in a negative way. Let me try this. If an officer stops me and after I show him my driver’s license he says he wants to fingerprint me to be sure my license is valid. I ask him what happens if I refuse and he says although it is a voluntary thing on my part, he will detain me and take me to be officially fingerprinted if I refuse.

Note all this is done without a reasonable suspicion of me committing a crime. So I go ahead and consent to be fingerprinted. I am who I say I am, but that info and my fingerprints have been entered into the database which I’m reading is shared with the FBI. Now how is that any different than a mandatory Federal ID Card system?

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 06/17/13 - 04:00 pm
1
1
Fingerprint
Unpublished

Most everyone has them and they are a rock solid id. Quicker than DNA and cheaper. We should do a fingerprint to vote, of course, the liberals would not allow than. If you are a crook and want to vote early and often, prints would foul you up, can't have that! If you are being placed under arrest, giving up a finger print is the least of your worries.

CobaltGeorge
169914
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/17/13 - 05:40 pm
1
2
I Don't Have A Count

of the number of times in 73 years that I have been finger printed, Back Ground Checks, Security Clearances, Drivers License, Canceled Weapons permits, some military requirements and many more, but none was for criminal action. I am with RM, to be asked to provide a finger print that is not possible connected to a criminal act is against my freedom of rights as an American Citizen. This is nothing more than another way of the King SMNCICBHO(M), the Hammer & Sickle man and liberal crooks to own you totally. He (They) sure are trying.......

CobaltGeorge
169914
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/17/13 - 08:04 pm
1
2
oldredneckman96

We should do a fingerprint to vote

As long as your identity has been proven that you are legal to vote, then those finger prints would have to be destroyed.

A Measured Response
75
Points
A Measured Response 06/17/13 - 08:06 pm
0
2
What happens if . . .

I agree that having these on hand can be helpful, but law enforcement should be very limited in their use. What happens if a Deputy/Sheriff leaves one of these behind when they're moving out of their apartment . . . ? :)

Frank I
1203
Points
Frank I 06/17/13 - 08:44 pm
0
1
my name's Frank.. see here,

my name's Frank.. see here, got a couple id's with a picture that say the same thing.. beyond that I'll pass..

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 06/18/13 - 06:13 pm
1
1
vote with a finger
Unpublished

CobaltGeorge; You do you understand your face, your DNA and your fingerprints never change? If you have never committed a crime you are reasonalby safe. If you have ever done almost any thing in this world your prints are on file somewhere. If you are a wanted criminal, say a dead beat dad or just want to vote for President more than once, your prints should be checked when you vote. I also say there should be hard copy that has your print, and your picture on it as a record for every election. With electronic records only, election fraud will continue to put in those who are enemies of the US in office. Since the Supreme Court overruled States attempt to stop election fraud this is about all that is left.

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 06/18/13 - 07:46 pm
2
0
CGEE and ME

Cobalt George and I have probably had our prints taken, photos taken, drug tested and background checks performed on us more than most of the commenters. We were both in the Army for 20 years and went through numerous very high level security checks. With my career now, ditto. But the thing is that was all by choice.

We both acquiesced to the Army because we valued our jobs and careers. It is TOTALLY different when government forces me to be fingerprinted or go to jail. Then they take my prints and put them in a federal data base identifying me. I support our local law enforcement and they are playing with the hand they are dealt, but this is infringement on my 4th Amendment rights. It's the principle of it and that means a lot to me.

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