Hartselle PD gets fingerprinting grantPublished 11:50am Friday, April 12, 2013
Using inkpads to fingerprint suspects will not be needed much longer in Hartselle.
The Hartselle Police Department has been awarded a $15,816 grant to purchase equipment to a digital fingerprinting system.
Chief Ron Puckett said the new equipment will allow his department to more accurately and quickly fingerprint suspects, inmates and others in the community. The department then sends its prints to Montgomery, where they are entered into a national fingerprint database.
“We’re bringing this up to the 21st Century,” Puckett said. “The system we use now is the same thing they were using in the 19th Century.”
Puckett said the new system would help prevent bad fingerprints, which are common with using inkpads.
“We won’t know that we had a bad fingerprint until we send the card to Montgomery,” Puckett said. “Now, we’ll be able to know almost instantly if we didn’t get a good print. Plus, it will help improve the national database because you’ll have more accurate prints.”
While this grant may not give his department the ability to digitally compare prints in house, he does believe it could help solve crimes quicker.
“Right now, if we needed to get a set of prints run, we would have to physically take the print card to Montgomery,” Puckett said. “Now, we’ll be able to send them as soon as they are scanned. It could help improve the response and accuracy when comparing prints.”
The funding is through Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which is funneled through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.