Highland News Leader

Highland police to buy digital finger print machine

It’s been part of the system for booking alleged criminals for a century. An officer rolls a suspect’s fingers in black ink, then onto a piece of paper to record their fingerprints.

But by late summer, it won’t be happening any more in Highland.

On Monday, the City Council unanimously agreed to purchase a Touch Print 500 Lifescan digital finger print system from Morpho Trust USA for $20,000.

The new digital system will use lasers and relay information directly to the FBI and to the state.

“One of things that drove us to the system quicker than we planned is because of the state,” said Police Chief Terry Bell. “The state is no longer accepting ink fingerprints.”

HPD is also in the process of implementing a computer-aided dispatch and records management system (CAD/RMS).

Bell anticipates that his officers will be using CAD and the digital finger print machine by mid-August.

“We’re excited we are now able to get it,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The price of a digital fingerprint machine has come down considerably over the years.

Bell recalled when the Collinsville Police Department purchased one several years ago that they paid about $90,000.

The finger print system will be kept in the Highland Police Station.

But in the future, Bell hopes to add a digital finger print scanning device in each patrol car.