KPD using new mobile fingerprinting units

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney police can now fingerprint you on the go with two new mobile fingerprinting units.

Kearney Police now have two mobile fingerprinting units they can use while out in the field. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

KPD has been trying to get these devices for years. The units are strictly used to pull up files and driver information. Fingerprints aren't saved in the system.

"They're really easy to use," said Doug McCarty, a technical services officer with KPD. "They're fast. They're reliable and they're durable. It's almost an instant hit back. If they're in the state database or the federal database, you immediately get that information back. It's great in the field."

Each unit costs $1,500.

Police do have to ask for permission in order to scan for fingerprints.

They'll ask you to put your right index finger on the scanner. Once it picks up the print, you'll put your left index finger on the device.

Police will then plug the unit into a computer, where it'll search through the state and FBI databases. If there's a hit, officers can see the person's name, driver information and any warrants out for arrest. It takes about 40 seconds for that information to pop up.

McCarty said it's just another tool police can use to be more efficient in getting information.

"There's a lot of people sometimes that'll give false information, and maybe say, 'I'm somebody else.' We run their fingerprint, and it comes back with who they really are. Sometimes people can't tell us who they are. They might be unconscious or deceased, and this is a great way for us to identify people," McCarty said.

He said it could also be a good tool to use if someone forgets their driver's license. Police usually will write a ticket if a driver can't provide their license. McCarty said if police can pull up that information with the mobile fingerprinting unit, they might be able to send the driver on their way.

Police do have to verify all the information that comes up with the person or any filing agencies.

After Wednesday night, all shifts are trained on how to use the units.

McCarty said they hope to get a lot of use out of them, and eventually equip all their vehicles with a unit.