High-tech fingerprinting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2003


it is just the middle of June, it has already been a noteworthy year for Chief Wilbur Williams Jr. and the Andalusia Police Department.

The department has already benefited in 2003 from several grants, new equipment and even significant individual achievement from several officers and Williams presented a report about his department's progress during Tuesday's regular meeting of the Andalusia City Council.

"I can honestly say that I don't know when I've ever really been more excited with the opportunities, and with the process of bringing the Andalusia Police Department

to where I really think we should be and want to be," said Williams. "I am really excited and I hope you all realize that, and from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the cooperative effort that all (of the council members) have demonstrated over the close to three years that I've been here."

Williams reported that on Wednesday morning his officers were scheduled to begin training on a new automated fingerprint identification system which the department was able to purchase using a recent methamphetamine grant it received, noting the officers will go through two days of "very intensive" training.

"This is a system that will literally compare thousands of fingerprints to thousands of prints in a database so we are very anxious to get it installed and it will certainly be a monumental day in the history of the Andalusia Police Department," said Williams. "In approximately four weeks we will install the new live scan system, which is the computer system where we will actually take the fingerprint."

During the council meeting, the council approved a bid on eight new patrol cars, including three new cars and five reconditioned cars, for $128,400.

Bids were sent to 27 companies, but only Shamrock Motor Company offered a bid which included reconditioned and new cars.

"I think that all of you will look back and will admit, and so will the community, that (the action on securing the new cars) is probably the most important thing you have done for this community and certainly for the police department," said Willliams. "As October runs close by, and you start looking at your budget, if we can budget for three more cars in October, then that will put us in the Take Home Car program and I guarantee you will see some significant savings (on car maintenance costs). If this city can furnish us three cars a year to make this program work, you are looking at a roughly $75,000 investment, and I believe we can reprove at least 30 percent of that or so simply because of reduced maintenance."

Willlams said the department is still waiting on the delivery of a new compressor system, which will fill air bottles used by the Covington County Drug Task Force and the Andalusia Fire Department among others.

New self-contained breathing apparatuses have been received, which were also purchased under the methamphetamine grant.


added the department is in the process of receiving new radio equipment from a local vendor which will give the department capabilities which it has never previously had.

The process of promoting sergeants, Williams said, is still ongoing.

"We have completed the testing part (of the promotional process) and now we are going to do the interviews," said Williams.

Williams also recognized officers David Connor,

Matt Mancil, Mike Finley

and Mike Hayden for individual accomplishments they recently had.

Connor recently completed requirements for earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, the first Andalusia officer to do so, while Mancil was recognized as being the second Andalusia officer to complete requirements for earning a four-year college degree.

Finley was recognized for having completed an intensive course of study in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction while Hayden was recognized for his efforts and accomplishments in the field of Computer Forensics.