Electronic Fingerprinting System Helps Police

The Auburn Police Department used to rely on ink fingerprint cards to store fingerprints.   Now it’s all done electronically.

The electronic FBI fingerprinting process is a lot faster and yields cleaner result than the old ink-stained card technology.  It also saves the department and taxpayers quite a bit of money—about $4,000 each year.

Suspects are not the only ones who need to get fingerprinted by the Auburn Police.  The department also does fingerprint checks of new police hires and those who apply for weapons permit.

In the old days, each fingerprint would require three cards.  The fingerprint would then be sent off to the FBI for comparison, and it would take one or two months for the FBI to reply with the results.  Using the new technology (the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems, also known as IAFIS), the fingerprint is stored electronically, and the comparison process takes only a day or two.

It is also much more difficult to make a faulty submission with the new electronic system, since IAFIS will not accept less-than-perfect prints that cannot be read electronically.