June 19, 2012 -
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will be expanding its Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to also include palm prints and access to the Federal database.
This system upgrade will give smaller law enforcement units like the Richmond County Sherriff’s Crime Scene Unit a better chance of catching criminals through the prints they leave behind.
Police officers investigating a fresh crime scene often find palm prints along with fingerprints. As there is no palm print database set up yet, the state law enforcement agency urged developers to include them in the next batch of AFIS upgrades. Currently, several crime scene units scattered around the state are collecting palm prints after the possibility of it being entered into the AFIS was being considered.
Running both a palm and finger print, taken from a crime scene in the AFIS, reduces the risk of getting a faulty result. It will also give out results a lot faster if more biometric data is being used for identity verification. This will come in handy the moment fingerprints are being run on the Federal Database.
The upgrading of the technology involves both software and hardware. The new system will be a lot easier to maneuver and comes with a new scanner that is attached to a computer. A microscope is also bundled along with the upgrade for use in the crime scene itself. The microscope will be used to scan for prints which are on an immovable or fragile object.
The AFIS in its entirety does not actually identify a suspect. It only narrows the possibilities and investigators still have to make the identification of the suspect, based on the fingerprint, themselves.