The Miami-Dade Police Department recently upgraded its automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to the latest-generation Motorola Printrak Biometric Identification Solution
(BIS) – a move which has reportedly already paid off in improved crime-solving capabilities and, subsequently, additional arrests.
Following the installation of new equipment, all fingerprint data was transferred, via digital format, from MDPD’s previous system to the new Motorola (News
) Printrak BIS.
The new system interfaces with the databases run by all the other police departments within Miami-Dade County, as well as with the state system at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This enables the MDPD to conduct “reverse searches,” where the prints of a new arrestee can be compared to those collected from unsolved crime scenes - including those which are stored in the other departments’ systems. By comparing the arrested subject’s prints against other databases of latent prints, police can determine if the arrested individual might be responsible for other unsolved crimes.
Glen Calhoun, superintendent of the identification section at MPDP, said after the new system was installed, “We re-entered 25 old cases, and were able to solve seven homicides by using the new system.”
In fact, he said the new system has yielded a “30 percent increase in reverse search ‘hits’ on our system,” since it was installed.
The latest version of Printrak BIS is capable of storing both fingerprint and palmprint data. Thanks to the system’s modular design, MDPD was able to implement the upgrade in two phases – first adding palmprint, and then fingerprint capabilities (and thus cushioning the blow to taxpayers).
“Rather than upgrade the system all at once, we chose to purchase palmprint capabilities first, then upgrade our fingerprint capabilities later,” Calhoun said in a press release. “Motorola Credit Corporation assisted us with the second phase of the upgrade. Motorola’s ability to work within our budget has given us the flexibility to provide greater services to the citizens of Miami-Dade County.”
The new system also offers improved search accuracy, increased storage capacity, increased descriptor data for each record, and more efficient tools to assist the department in its efforts to make city streets safer.
Calhoun said the switch-over to the new system was practically seamless and “was completed in less than two hours.”
“Miami Dade PD, like most law enforcement agencies, requires uncompromising performance with flexible implementation to avoid productivity and budgetary roadblocks associated with IT projects of this kind,” said Darrin Reilly, vice president and general manager of Motorola Communications and Electronics Inc.’s biometrics business. “We are proud to say our system’s advanced accuracy and modular technology has provided MDPD with both these requirements.”
For more information about Motorola and its biometric solutions, visit www.motorola.com
Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.