New York State police departments receive $710K in grants for fingerprinting equipment

October 7, 2015 - 

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has granted $710,000 in state grants to 51 police departments and sheriffs’ offices in 27 counties across the state for the purchase of electronic fingerprinting equipment.

The new electronic fingerprinting equipment will replace existing devices, which are either broken and obsolete.

“Fingerprinting is a proven and highly effective crime-fighting method – which drives us to help law enforcement agencies record and share fingerprints as efficiently as possible,” said Governor Cuomo. “These grants will help departments across the state, regardless of size, maintain a vital form of equipment, and I am proud that the state is able to help our local partners in this way.”

All fingerprints taken in connection with arrests must be electronically sent to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services – the state-run database retaining criminal history records – and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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 information is crucial in determining how cases against arrested individuals proceed, including whether bail is set by the court.

“Electronic fingerprinting is a phenomenal resource for law enforcement agencies, but the equipment eventually needs to be replaced and that can sometimes place a burden on local police budgets,” said Michael C. Green, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner. “These grants will help offset the cost of upgrading older equipment and ensure these systems function properly.”

The maximum grant awarded for each device was $10,000, with each grant recipients required to provide a 50% local match as fingerprint technology benefits both local law enforcement agencies and the state.

Those agencies which received grant awards of $10,000 or less will purchase one fingerprint device.

All municipal police departments and county sheriff’s office in the state were allowed to apply for the funding.

Additionally, agencies were allowed to apply for more than one device if they host a regional server that allows others to electronically submit fingerprints to the state and FBI.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.