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LA HABRA : Police to Acquire $60,000 Fingerprint System

October 24, 1994|MIMI KO

The Police Department soon will have a high-tech fingerprinting system that will cut down on time spent searching for the identities of criminal suspects.

Council members last week approved the purchase of the $60,000 system that will end the practice of fingerprinting suspects on paper cards with black ink, Police Chief Steven H. Staveley said.

"Currently, when someone is arrested, we roll their fingerprints with an ink pad and paper and mail it to Sacramento or the FBI," he said. But the process, in which state or federal authorities respond to the Police Department, can take months. If a quicker identification is needed, an officer takes the fingerprints to another Police Department with a sophisticated computer system to get the information, which can take hours, Staveley said.

On the new system, he said fingerprints will be scanned directly into a computer without ink, which sometimes contributes to smudges and inaccurate information, and an identification can be made in as little as 20 minutes.

The Orange County sheriff's and Anaheim police departments and many Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies already use the system. Other cities, including Newport Beach and Santa Ana, are considering buying it, Staveley said.

"This is cutting edge technology," City Manager Lee Risner said.

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