Fingerprints in the Field
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 21, 2008
It takes a special breed of person to be a police officer. Many of us make great arm-chair officers, but when it means getting out in the field, only the real deal will do. Take being an officer in California for example. Gangs are part of every day life.
Deputies in San Bernardino County have employed portable fingerprint scanners, which means that getting a true identity only takes a few minutes. Deputies Fernando Hernandez and Jarrod Burns used such a device to make an arrest of a known gang member.
This all came about when deputies tried to identify a group of people gathered in a park that had closed. When the two deputies couldn’t identify the identity of Travis Anderson, 24, they whipped out the portable scanner. The information told them who Anderson was and that he had a parole warrant out for his arrest. All seven people, who were confirmed gang members, were arrested for marijuana possession.
The portable scanners are the latest and greatest in urban security measures as law enforcement officials are given a photograph of the person, along with a name. This helps officers thwart efforts by the bad guys who would give false information or those who do not have any identification.
Three cheers for technology that makes law enforcement’s job a little more dependable and safer.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.