Tech Feature: Meridian Township Police's New Mobile Fingerprint Scanner
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - In March 2019, the Meridian Township Police Department received their first Mobile Fingerprint Scanner which allows them to effectively and accurately identify someone when they are out patrolling and not at the police station.
Meridian Township Police Sergeant Bart Crane explained why this piece of equipment may be important in a couple of different scenarios:
1) To verify someone's identity in a situation where a person of interest may be dishonest about who they really are.
2) To help identify a Vulnerable or Impaired Person (VIP) who may be lost or find themselves in a situation which they cannot identify themselves; and help them get back to their loved ones.
The Mobile Fingerprint Scanner only reads someone's fingerprint in the State of Michigan database repository, it does not capture fingerprints. If there is no record of the person in the State's database, the Mobile Fingerprint Scanner will not show any information on the person. To capture fingerprints electronically, the Meridian Township Police Department uses a non-mobile system called Live Scan. Many police agencies have switched from the old ink fingerprint system to Live Scan, where the fingerprints are captured on a lighted glass screen. The Meridian Township Police Department have been using this system since 2004, but it has undergone a few hardware updates over the years.
In Michigan, the Child Identification and Protection Act and Fingerprinting Residents of State Act allows a parent/legal guardian/power of attorney of an individual with special needs to voluntarily provide the VIP’s fingerprints and photograph for inclusion in a State of Michigan database repository that can be used to assist in identifying the VIP. A VIP’s fingerprints and photograph are stored (for a fee) along with additional demographic information, including the home address of the VIP and a contact person, email address, and phone number for the person legally responsible for the VIP.
At this time the Meridian Township Police Department is undergoing training so they can promote and capture VIP's fingerprints and photographs to enroll them into the State of Michigan's database.