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Alberta police to use hi-def fingerprint technology

CALGARY – Police in Calgary and Edmonton are getting a clearer picture of the prints criminals leave behind thanks to some new technology.

CPS and EPS are using a new system, MorphoBIS, to get a higher definition image of fingerprints using the most advanced biometrics technology available today.

MorphoBIS will allow investigators to search fingerprint databases faster; a search that previously would have taken between eight to 12 minutes can now be performed in two minutes.

The system also has the ability to capture and search palm print records – a tool previously unavailable to officers in Calgary and Edmonton.

The technology will eventually allow police to scan fingerprints electronically and elminiate the ink and paper process.

A new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) will help enhance their Canadian Western Identification Network.

The central database will be in Calgary, but police throughout Alberta will have access to the network of approximately 500,000 records and 24,000 crime scene prints. The records will be sent to Ottawa to be included in Canada’s national fingerprint and criminal record repository, which is managed by the RCMP.

All three services say they’ll use the new system to help cold case investigators.

Since police began using the new system in February – which replaces a system first purchased in 1986 – they have been running cold case fingerprints through its databases.

According to Acting Staff Sgt. Brian Rayner, out of the 188 files run so far, 50 investigative leads have been sent to investigators.

The new system cost $1.38-million between Calgary and Edmonton.

The Regina Police Service will also be using the AFIS system by the fall.

With files from the Calgary Herald

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