DOJ grant helps Pennsylvania state police purchase new fingerprint solution, improve criminal records system

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) will purchase multiple Live Scan Plus fingerprint capture devices to improve the criminal records system used in state police stations, according to a report by WESA.

The technology will be purchased using a portion of the funds from a $814,000 grant the PCCD received from the U.S. Department of Justice to improve the criminal record-taking technology.

More than 1,500 felons in the state failed to have their criminal history entered into a state database in the first quarter of the year, which means that their criminal record will not show up in a background check, according to PCCD chairman Josh Shapiro.

“We want to get to a near 100 percent compliance rate, and … the way in which we’ll utilize this grant will help improve our background checks here in Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro, who added that data is simply not taken, or in some cases the police stations don’t have the proper technology to record the information.

The PCCD will install the Live Scan Plus devices, which capture fingerprints and input the information into a statewide database, at 10 Pennsylvania state police substations in six different counties.

“[A Live Scan Plus] is an all-in-one inclusive unit,” said PCCD office director Bob Merwine, who added that each Live Scan Plus device costs $37,000. “Not only does it capture the biometrics from the fingerprint [and] the full palm but it also captures a photograph.”

The PCCD has significantly improved the process of inputting the fingerprint biometric details of individuals convicted of a crime into the state database, increasing from 66% in 2006 to 89% this year.

Previously reported, 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.

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