Local News

Device helps authorities quickly ID suspects

Posted August 13, 2009 11:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2009 11:13 p.m. EDT

— New technology is helping investigators identity suspects more easily.

The Rapid Fingerprint Identification device is being used in City/County Bureau of Identification in Wake and Durham. Officials put a person’s finger on the machine and it is able to match the fingerprint with the person’s name and booking photo.

“With this, if they’ve been arrested in Wake County or Durham County…then the ID would be made out in the field by the officers within a matter of minutes,” CCBI Director Sam Pennica said.

CCBI Deputy Director Andy Parker said the new technology puts identification information right at the finger tips of officers investigating a crime or trying to ID a body.

“It’s searching based on biometrics,” Parker said. “This is unbiased, objective data.”

Parker used the device to identify a body found in a wooded area last December.  “We were able to figure out who he was,” Parker said.

CCBI agents are testing two Rapid ID devices. They have applied for a federal grant to purchase more units. Officials said the goal is to outfit other officers in Wake and Durham counties with the devices by the end of the year.