New York Invests in New Fingerprinting Technology

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New York will invest just over $450,000 in new fingerprinting technology through state grants to 39 police departments statewide. With this investment, the state has provided nearly $1.2 million to local law enforcement since last fall, enabling a total of 90 agencies across the state to replace existing devices that are old or obsolete.

Local law enforcement agencies were eligible to apply for up to $10,000 for each device or other related equipment, such as printers, scanners and cameras. Priority was given to those agencies with the highest number of arrests from 2013 through 2015 and agencies hosting regional servers that allow others to electronically submit fingerprints to the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation could apply for funding for more than one device. The request for applications also required that agencies match state funds because the technology is crucial to both local law enforcement and the state.

“Fingerprint analysis is a critical tool in criminal investigations and we must ensure police departments have access to the resources and the most up-to-date technology to conduct it properly,” Governor Cuomo said of the grants in a statement.

All fingerprints taken in connection with arrests must be submitted electronically to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services – the state’s repository of criminal history record information – and the FBI. Digital fingerprint technology enables law enforcement agencies and the courts to instantly receive an arrestee’s positive identification and any past criminal history and warrant information from the state.

This is the second time in seven months that the Division of Criminal Justice Services has awarded grants for this technology. Last fall, 51 agencies received a total of $710,000. The Division of Criminal Justice Services expects to make funding for this technology available annually, with the ultimate goal of helping all agencies upgrade to new technology and associated equipment.