May 24, 2004  


Granger Presents Check for Fingerprint I.D. Technology to County D.A.


Congresswoman Kay Granger (R – Fort Worth) Monday presented a $500,000 check to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to purchase state-of-the-art computerized fingerprint identification systems for seven Tarrant County cities. The U.S. Department of Justice grant will purchase seven Live Scan fingerprint systems for seven cities.

The system will allow the police in those cities to scan the fingerprints of suspects and to send the prints instantly to automated fingerprint identification databases for comparison. Law enforcement agencies that use the Live Scan system report quick positive identifications of criminals who are using aliases.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson uses the system in the County Bond Area and the jail booking area. Azle Police Chief Steve Myers, Benbrook Police Chief Sam Horan, Crowley Police Chief Kirk Nemitz, Fort Worth Police Chief Ralph Mendoza, Haltom City Police Chief Ken Burton, North Richland Hills Police Chief Tom Shockley, and White Settlement Police Chief David Place represented police departments that will receive the computerized fingerprint systems.

"Last year, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office brought to my attention that one of the best new technologies on the market was not in use in many of Tarrant County cities that have significant crime," Granger said. "That technology is called the automated fingerprint identification system--AFIS. The D.A.’s office wanted as many Tarrant County cities as possible to have this system. I am happy to announce that the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office will be awarded a $500,000 Department of Justice grant to purchase the digital fingerprinting machines."

The system is simple and effective. A suspect’s hand is digitally fingerprinted and simultaneously sent to local, state, and federal electronic fingerprint data bases. Within seconds, fingerprints that match previously-entered suspects are positively identified. Tarrant County Commissioners Court is expected to formally accept the federal grant.