Today officers can search millions of fingerprints in seconds with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AVIS). Technologies have also went portable with the installation of Mobile Data Terminals (MAT) in many police vehicles.
Having access to many databases in the field, officers are given an advantage. Having the information at hand is only handy if officers know the true identity of a suspect. Linking AS and MAT would speed up identification of a person’s identity. Communication in modern American criminal justice is being lead in to the future with ever advancing technologies. These technologies are both new and old, constantly evolving from finger print recognition to the modern Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AVIS), and from the most basic police radio to the Mobile Data Terminals.
These systems alone will prove effective, but simply applying multiple technologies at the same time; the law enforcement professionals across the country will have the upper hand In crime fighting. Fingerprint Recognition The idea of fingerprint recognition is assumed to have developed as far back as 300 B. C. In China. With the importance of finger prints being identified almost 2,300 years ago, it is hard to believe that it wasn’t until 1892, across an ocean, in Buenos Aries Argentina, that the first murder was solved with a latent print.
Franciscan Rajas, the mother of two slain children became the rime suspect after police failed to get a forced confession from original suspect. Investigators went back to the crime scene to discover a single bloody thumbprint on the door frame. This thumbprint was ultimately used to convict Rajas for the murders of her own children. (Barnes 2011) Automated Fingerprint Identification System. The advancement from fingerprint recognition to what law enforcement personnel use today is astonishing.
One can only imagine the reaction from an investigator in the early 20th century that the possibility to search fingerprint databases in seconds would be a reality within a lifetime. Today the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System or ASH is the standard in personnel identification (Moses 2011 It’s faster to run fingerprints through ASH today than it is to get coffee. This speed in fingerprint recognition has created standard operation procedures in departments across the nation.
AVIS checks are done on all prisoner intakes, and releases, booking and many other applications in law enforcement. AVIS works on identifying the patterns in fingerprints by comparing the three common print designs the Arch’s, Loops and Whorls (Barnes 2011). These three fingerprint patterns are then compared in mentions and distance; as a person’s fingerprints do not change or alter with age. This discovery has allowed police and software developers to advance the recognition speed in AVIS, allowing for faster return of information. Mobile Data Terminals.
The technology advancements in law enforcement vehicles are now home to databases for officers in the field. These Mobile Data Terminals are bringing real world information to the officer’s fingertips at lightning speed. The advancements in Mobile Data Terminals are giving the officers an advantage, unknown to the officers of yesterday. The information and resources now accessible in police vehicles, is the equivalent to a citizens home computer, Officers now have mobile connection to the internet and police databases (Livingston 2006).
Mobile Data Terminals given so much power to the officers hard to see any downfalls; however with all technologies, technology itself can be a negative. Unlike the traditional pen and paper; Mobile Data Terminals and computers need power, a connection and a knowledgeable operator. With law enforcement personnel working in every imaginable situation, the guarantee that electronic technology will fail is 100%. Sooner or later the technologies trusted by police will become nothing more than a barrier in the field. Connecting Technology and Communication.
Barriers in the field are inevitable, every precaution that law enforcement professional take is only rewarded with a little time. There is a disconnect in communication that starts with the success of it. Linking real time information to communication the officers have is slowly being addressed. One way law enforcement departments could expedite personnel identification, reducing the booking of John and Jane Doe’s, is to have AVIS in patrol cars. There are already laptop amputees, internet and secure networks in many police vehicles.
It would not be that hard to install small digital fingerprint scanners in vehicles. Having the AS technology on the streets would increase positive identification, and reduce the amount of time officers are sifting through aliases. Having tools, such as the Automated Fingerprint Identification System linked to the Mobile Data Terminals will soon be a technological reality.