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  Fingerprinting Goes Hi Tech

Dec 10, 2002 07:13 ET

Police services across Canada now have a new tool that will dramatically improve their ability to collect, analyze and share fingerprint information.

The LiveScan system, currently being rolled out across Canada by the RCMP does away with ink stains and provides a much cleaner electronic sample that can be quickly referenced in a national database.

Durham Regional Police will install two of the LiveScan stations at the Oshawa Community Police Office. Individuals charged with various offences will have their fingerprints electronically scanned at these new computer stations. The operator can instantly determine if the “scan” is precise or requires rescanning. Finger “slaps” (four fingers together) and full palm scans are also taken, as sometimes these kinds of impressions are the only ones left behind at a crime scene.

Once the electronic scans are entered into a provincial database, they are also entered into the national database and submitted to the local AFIS (automated fingerprint identification system) to be compared to latent prints already on file. Depending on the priority assigned to the prints, identification can be determined in as little as two hours.

In the old ink-based system, the prints would be mailed to the national lab in Ottawa, scanned and compared to all prints submitted nationwide. This process could take up to six weeks. Due to the delay, police would have to release a suspect and then go to the trouble of finding the individual again, days later.

Durham Regional Police expect the system to be up and running by the end of the year.

Members of the Durham Regional Police Services Board were recently given a tour of the new fingerprinting office and were literally given a “hands on” demonstration of both the new technology and the present ink-based procedure.

Below are attached files.
LiveScan Thumbnail (JPG file, 3.9K bytes)
Close-up of LiveScan Printing Pad (JPG file, 25.1K bytes)
DRPS Board Member Moffatt Lends a Hand (JPG file, 19.2K bytes)