CONCORD, N.H. — A new method of transmitting fingerprints by computer that will drastically cut identification time in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont was introduced Friday by law enforcement agencies in the three states.
Under the new system, police officers and fingerprint technicians will be able to identify fingerprints by computers within 2 1/2 minutes, rather than the traditional process of sorting through fingerprint cards by hand, which could take days or weeks.
A photograph had to be taken, then blown up and mailed or faxed to investigating officers in the other two states, and then they would have to go through their fingerprint cards by hand, looking for a match.
In addition, they now have a computer that will scan in fingerprints without using messy ink.
Col. John Barthelmes of New Hampshire State Police called it “a very, very difficult if not impossible task to do manually.”
“This system is going to allow us to now make that match for the first time, and we are going to be solving those crimes that historically we have not been able to solve.”
The Tri-State Automated Fingerprint Identification System links the three states to a regional computer system.