From ink and paper to laser and glass

NORWICH – In January of 2010, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services issued a state-wide mandate saying it would no longer accept classic ink and paper fingerprints.

The decision prompted a joint application from the Sherburne Village and Norwich City Police Departments to the Edward Byrne Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program. The two agencies were awarded about $33,000 to purchase new equipment.

New digital fingerprint technology records prints with only the touch of defendant’s fingertip on a glass surface. Below the glass, red laser beams and small electronics beep, similar to the technology used in grocery checkout lines. But instead of reading a bar code, the device, called LiveScan, captures fingerprints and converts them into a digital image. The device also includes the first standardized camera and mug shot back drop. The fingerprints, mug shot and other personal information is then transmitted to a central state database. The new system went online at the Norwich Police Department on Dec. 23.

“It makes a digital image that can be sent via the Internet instantaneously,” said Chief Joseph Angelino.

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