Jail to get lightning-fast fingerprinting

Published 1:28 am Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Covington County Jail will soon feature new state-of-the-art fingerprinting equipment, thanks to a nearly $16,000 law enforcement technology grant.

The $15,816 award will pay for the purchase of a live scan fingerprint system, said Sheriff Dennis Meeks.

Meeks said the current system is out-dated, making it difficult to make repairs.

“Due to the steady increase of people being incarcerated at the county jail, there is a need to replace the antiquated machine with a modern, cost-effective system,” Meeks said.

Meeks said the new machine will allow personnel to submit fingerprints electronically for review to state agencies.

“With the addition of this technologically advanced system, the jail will be equipped to submit information to the public and to other agencies in real time,” he said. “Real time information will ensure better-informed citizens and will raise the overall awareness of the general public, which will enhance citizen safety. This equipment will also serve to keep the jail up-to-date and in compliance with current requirements and future state and federal mandates and guidelines.”

The new system, once installed, will make the inmate booking process less time consuming for correctional officers, he said.

The funds, which will be administered through the state department of economic and community affairs, are part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

It is unknown when the new system will arrive for installation.