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Central Carolina receives fingerprint machine from Harnett Sheriff’s Department

Central Carolina receives fingerprint machine from Harnett Sheriff’s Department

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Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins (right) visited Central Carolina Community College’s Em ... (more)

02.06.2009College & Community

SANFORD - The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and Central Carolina Community College have teamed up for what Harnett Sheriff Larry Rollins calls a “win-win” opportunity.

Thanks to the department, the college’s law enforcement programs now have a computerized fingerprint machine. The department recently purchased a more high-tech machine and donated its Printrak International LSS 2000 machine to the college through the CCCC Foundation.

“It’s a great tool,” said Rollins. “One of the most critical things you do in an arrest is take fingerprints. Most law enforcement uses equipment similar to this.”

Faye Phillips, director of the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program, said that the machine is an important addition. The college trains law enforcement officers for its service area of Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties - and beyond. Up to now, students have had to visit sheriff’s offices or police departments to see how digital print-taking works. Now, they will be able to train on equipment similar to that which they will use in the workplace.

Phillips described how the machine works. When a suspect is arrested, a set of prints is taken. The officer making the prints enters the suspect’s identification information into the computer. Then, one by one, the pads of the suspect’s fingers and thumb are rolled on a scanner screen. The machine makes a digital image of each, which is displayed on a computer screen and then filed for future reference.

Fingerprint machines used at sheriff and police departments can tap into fingerprint databases from other law enforcement agencies to search for matches. Through print matches, the suspect may be further identified and, possibly, linked to other crimes. The college’s law enforcement students won’t be able to tap into databases; for privacy and security reasons, all were removed from the LSS 2000 in preparation for its donation, the sheriff said. The students will use the machine to gain valuable experience in taking and processing digital prints.

Rollins said that his office has a long-standing partnership with the college. Approximately 60 percent of his officers are graduates of the college’s law enforcement programs, so the donation to improve the training of future officers will also benefit his department.

“This is a perfect example of the partnership we have with local law enforcement,” said Central Carolina President Bud Marchant. “It shows how inter-dependent we are. The college appreciates the opportunity to provide the training for their officers.”