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Durham May Turn To Total Fingerprinting System

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Fingerprint Durham
DURHAM, N.C. — County commissioners will vote Thursday on whether to fund a measure that could impact crime-solving across the Triangle.

In Durham, nearly 13,000 people are booked at the jail every year, but only a third are fingerprinted. Durham does not fingerprint misdemeanor offenders.

"It's an embarrassment. It's something we should've done years ago," said Durham city councilman Eugene Brown.

City and county leaders are now looking to the City County Bureau of Identification in Raleigh to see how a total print system works and how it could help curb crime.

Fingerprinting all suspects will not just benefit Durham. It could help out just about every county.

"People who are committing crimes in Wake County are committing crimes in Durham and other counties too," said Lee Roberts of the CCBI.

The lack of fingerprints also let some criminals go free. In 2001,

Fernanda Asta

was using an alias when he was arrested, then released in Durham on misdemeanor charges. They never took his fingerprints.

Three years later, Duke University police arrested Asta in another case, got his fingerprints and realized he was on Durham Police Department's most wanted list for rape.

The cost for the system would be $159,000. In addition to paying for fingerprinting equipment, the money would also pay for training and new officers.


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