OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Police are cracking down on crime with the help of the Nebraska State Patrol’s new fingerprint identification system.
Two prints are all it takes and the NSP has instant access to your records in the palm of their hands. Law enforcement deems the new technology a game-changer for public safety.
“If we feel someone’s not being truthful, they don’t have any ID… passport, driver license, state ID…,” said NSP trooper Curtis Grim.
Then all troopers have to do is plug in the portable device, scan two digits, and wait. If someone has been printed for a crime or even applied for certain permits, they’ll pop up.
“These devices in the car allow us to go back and access those fingerprints and positively identify people. If someone commits a crime 15 years later, we can go back and pull their prints roadside and determine definitely who they are,” said NSP Capt. Matt Sutter.
That’s exactly how troopers caught one criminal last week. NSP tweeted out a photo of him saying that he was trying to steal packages using his brother’s name. But the only package he got landed him behind bars on felony charges.
The AFIS devices, short for Automatic Fingerprint Identification System, do a lot more than just catch criminals.
“It’s helped a lot of people,” said Grim. “Good for identifying others, but even for us if it is in a car accident or fatality, we’re able to get the process started to notify the family.”
“We’ve also used them in cases where elderly people with dementia wander away from their place of residence,” said Capt. Grim. “If they don’t know who they are or they’re confused we can positively identify them that way.”
Also, with patrols ramping up over the holiday weekend, the NSP said it’s better to be upfront with troopers if you get pulled over.
“That leads to much bigger charges down the road,” Grim said.
The NSP said they have about 20 AFIS devices in the field and that they’re one of the few agencies in Nebraska with the technology. That bodes well for other agencies as the NSP is often called upon by them during emergency situations.
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