Berkeley County Sheriff using new fingerprint technology, fast-tracking identification

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — If you think you might want to pull a fast one on law enforcement about your true identity, think again. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has a new crime-solving technology to update the fingerprinting process.

Your fingerprints are unique to you. For the Berkeley County Sheriff, that can be a crime solver.
The department is now using new technology that can match your fingerprint with the FBI database in less than one minute. No more messy rolling your fingers on an ink pad and sending the paper image off to a faraway lab for processing. The new hand-held laser scanners are conveniently portable and accurate.

Sheriff Curtis Keller, said “if somebody’s out on the road and they won’t give us identification, we’ll be able to identify them quickly now with the new technology.”

Captain Brendan Hall is patrol commander for the department and is helping train sheriff’s deputies on the latest high-tech tactics for documenting accident and crimes scenes. But when it comes to identifying an out-of-towner who may be less than forthcoming about their identity – well, modern times have caught up to them.

“It’s not uncommon for us out here to run across people who may have come in from other jurisdictions, who may have warrants in those jurisdictions, that they would lie to us about their identity,” says Hall. “So if a deputy does suspect that, they could get their fingerprints, get a response back from the FBI which would let them know who that person is and if they’re wanted.”

Just to think: it can take weeks to process fingerprints. But with this new technology it can take just 45 seconds. And Keller says that another advantage of the new technology is that your identity can now be determined by a print from just a single finger.

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