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Sixteen Native American tribes added to biometric background check program

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement
Sixteen Native American tribes added to biometric background check program

The U.S. Department of Justice has added sixteen federally recognized indigenous Tribes to its Tribal Access Program, which grants Tribal leadership access to major national crime data systems for biometric background checks.

Biometric kiosks to process fingerprints and other ID data are part of the package for Tribes, who will also receive training, software and the ability to enter and exchange information in databases, including those operated by the FBI, according to an announcement from the Department.

Speaking on behalf of the DOJ, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said inclusion in the program will allow Tribes to “register sex offenders, protect victims of domestic violence, prevent prohibited persons from obtaining firearms, and help locate missing people.”

The Department launched the Tribal Access Program in 2015, with funding from The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). According to the program’s website, it allows Tribes to “more effectively serve and protect their nation’s citizens by ensuring the exchange of critical data across the Criminal Justice Information Services systems.”

In addition to criminal justice applications, the system has also been used to share information about missing persons, and run biometric record checks on employees and volunteers who work with children.

A dozen Tribes were added to the list of those participating in TAP last September.

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