Deputies now use mobile fingerprint scanners

Posted at 2:07 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 18:04:59-04

Deputies in Eaton County will now be able to identify people on scene, as well as see if there are any criminal records linked to individuals.

The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office is one of the first local agencies in Michigan to use the mobile fingerprint scanners to identify people who have fingerprints on file, states a release from the office.

The devices are linked to in-car computers which transmit a scanned fingerprint to the Michigan Automated Fingerprint Identification System and to the FBI national fingerprint database. In minutes, deputies will be able to know if there is a record on file, which can positively identify the person, states the sheriff’s office.

On the first day of use, deputies identified a person in Delta Township who had two Eaton County arrest warrants and an out of state warrant.

“We strive to be leaders in the implementation of new technology which helps us become more efficient and effective,” said Sheriff Tom Reich. “Identifying and taking wanted persons into custody increases both public safety and the timely prosecution of the offenses.”

This new technology is currently being used by five other Michigan local law enforcement agencies and the Michigan State Police.

The scanners can also be used to attempt to ID people who are unable to provide reliable identification due to physical or mental incapacitation, or are deceased and immediate identification is needed to assist during an investigation.

The sheriff’s office was able to obtain the scanners from the regional Homeland Security funds, and the sheriff’s office will respond to assist area police agencies as requested.