NY police will get new fingerprint scanner

In the past, police used to take fingerprints on a card and mail them to the state and federal agencies

Donna Thompson
The Evening Telegram

HERKIMER, N.Y. — The Herkimer Police Department will be getting a new fingerprint scanning unit, courtesy of the state of New York.

Police Chief Joseph Malone asked the village board for authorization to accept the new unit during a meeting Monday night.

He said the new unit, along with the first year's maintenance, will be free to the village.

After that, the village would be charged maintenance fees that are about $140 less than the approximately $2,500 it is paying for the current system.

Malone said with the new Live Scan system, suspects will put their hands on the screen and their fingerprints will be transmitted digitally to the FBI and the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

In the past, police used to take fingerprints on a card and mail them to the state and federal agencies. Two years ago, an electronic system was installed which allowed fingerprints taken using an ink and a card to be scanned in and sent electronically.

Malone said the Live Scan system will be helpful to local police and the agencies to which the fingerprints are sent.

When using ink and rolling a person's fingers on a card, he said, it is easy to smudge a print. By the time state or federal officials realize there is a problem, the subject may have been released.

The village board voted to accept the new system and approved another equipment request for the police department.

Malone said the department had won a $5,400 car computer as part of a law enforcement challenge, but an interior wireless system and mounting equipment would be needed in order to install it. He said the mount is different from the ones currently used in the village's police cars and asked for authorization from the board to use about $740 from the department's equipment budget for the installation.

Malone reported the village had received a pair of grants from the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Program. One grant is for the Buckle Up New York program, which provides overtime funding to participate in the statewide seatbelt enforcement program. The other is the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant, which funds overtime pay for enforcement of dangerous driving behaviors, including speed and distraction.

Board members said they had received complaints about motorists speeding on Caroline Street. Malone said he is aware of the problem and is planning to set up the speed trailer, which shows motorists how fast they are driving, in that area.

Copyright 2012 The Evening Telegram

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