New Technology Catches Criminals

Identifying criminal suspects in Potter County courtrooms is getting easier and more efficient. The technology called "Live Scan" will soon make using ink to fingerprint criminals, a thing of the past.

The "Live Scan" prints out fingerprints that look similar to ink fingerprinting. But instead of sending the fingerprints by mail to Austin, a live internet connection between courtrooms, jails, and the department of Public safety transfers the prints instantly.

Potter County has had trouble with some criminals sending another person to court in their place, delaying justice and costing money. But with the Live Scan technology, criminals will never get away with that again.

County Judge Arthur Ware says, "There could be an aka or alias or whatever it may be. So now you have a quicker indication as to who's who. "

A local law enforcement officer has used the "Live Scan" technology before and is very impressed with it.

Sgt. Brad Early of the Potter County Detention Center says, "The faster we make the criminal justice system move the cheaper it is for everyone. So get them in, get them processed and move them out."

And the "Live Scan" takes away most of the human error that occurs during ink fingerprinting.

"It was like an art form," says Early, "Some people, if a little ink is good a lot of ink must be better and pretty soon you just have a big smudge with some blank spots in there."

The "Live Scan" leaves no room for error and will ask you to repeat your scan until it is clear enough for the database. Live scan is a pilot program paid for by DPS.

Seven machines are scheduled to arrive to Potter County Court rooms as early as tomorrow.