Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Technology at the Police Department

I had to get fingerprinted the other day at my local Police Department and I encountered some interesting technology. Rest assured, it was for recreational purposes only.

I've been fingerprinted for before. My work requires a background check and as part of the investigation your fingerprints get sent to the FBI. The last time I was fingerprinted a police officer came in with his trusty ink pad and cards. He rolled each finger in the appropriate box and you were left with a mess on your hands.

Today, it was a different story. First, the officer put my information into a computer. Instead of pulling out the trusty ink pad, he placed my fingers on a glass surface and then scanned my fingerprints. You still have to go through the same process where the officer rolls each of your fingers over the glass, but it's definitely less messy.

The only thing I was disappointed with is when you're done, the officer runs a fingerprint card through a laser printer and your prints get transferred to a standard form. Once they are sent to the FBI, they get scanned again for analysis. Wouldn't it be much easier to just transfer the images to the FBI directly? Maybe it wouldn't take 6 weeks to get the results back.


Joel Garry said...

The second time the Border Patrol fingerprinted me with that device it took like 6 tries to get each of several of my fingers. Now that I've given up some of my constitutional rights in order to cut a few minutes off my commute (Here's the broken link), they hardly ever have the lane open. Given the way I was treated by some agent with an attitude, I couldn't help but feel the whole thing was an expensive honeypot to attract smugglers. So now I'm in the system, hoping that that mere fact doesn't raise the suspicion of some bureaucrat. I've run into data mismatches in justice system computers before.

Joel Garry said...

Wouldn't it be much easier to just transfer the images to the FBI directly?

Robert said...


They are way OVERSTAFFED.
They're so bored they "ambushed" me 2 times and gave me citations.

co-worker told me that his cousin worked for WPD for a coule years then quit because he was bored outta his wits. lol