Arizona police force is testing fingerprint scanners

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Police departments across Arizona are testing MorpholDenta portable fingerprint reader the size of an iPhone.

The handheld mobile device is revolutionizing policing by allowing law enforcement officers to verify a person’s identity in minutes. The device is manufactured by Morphoa subsidiary of Safran Groupa company based in France.

The MorphoIDent captures two fingerprint images per subject and sends them to the police department’s fingerprint database for research. The search system is designed to quickly return a result and a response, and the MorphoIDent vibrates to let the agent know that the results are available. The data obtained if there is a fingerprint match allows the officer to deal with the subject more appropriately. If there is no match, the print is rejected.

The device does not require its own connection through a cellular service provider to perform ID matches. The MorphoIDent connects to a computer via Bluetooth and will use an existing patrol car connection to communicate with the police department’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

The device is provided free of charge by MorphoTrak, Inc. to the police departments of Phoenix, Mesa, temple and Glendale. The Arizona Department of Public Safety also participate and Peoria, Yuma and Lake Havasu City will also eventually receive free portable mobile devices. Even the Arizona Department of Corrections uses the device to identify inmates on admission and release.

Using MorpholDent has benefited police officers in places like Mesa as part of a six-month pilot project. It has positively identified people involved in cases such as: driving under the influence and domestic violence.

According to Bill Kalaf of the Mesa Police Department, “The idea is to get the right information to the right officer during an incident or investigation. You don’t want to let the bad guy go.

Mesa will also soon benefit from another test pilot project focusing on the Morpho Lift product Morpho Lift is a device that allows crime scene technicians to capture fingerprints at a crime scene, upload the images to laptop computers and pass them through an automated fingerprint identification system database.

MorpholDent is not cheap: each unit costs US$1,717. Tucson Police ordered the units after their own test run.

Is MorpholDent worth the investment for Arizona law enforcement?

Article topics

AFIS | biometrics | criminal identification | fingerprint reader | law enforcement | mobile scanners | morpho | secure identification

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