Mobile Fingerprinting Units

Mobile Fingerprinting Units used by Bellevue Police

(Bellevue) -- Bellevue Police now have a new way to identify suspects and other people in the field, saving time and money for the department.

The department has rolled out two mobile fingerprinting units that are about the size of a smartphone. The devices are able to take a fingerprint in the field and are linked to state and FBI databases. Officer Shaun Manning tells WOWT News the new units save officers time in identifying contacts.

"Gone are the days of having to take them out to the jail to get them fingerprinted to find out who they are," said Manning. "That was literally our last resort if we didn't have this technology roadside. That would tie up multiple officers and jail staff. It really has been a tremendous investment for us."

Lieutenant Andy Jashinske says the devices cost around $1,500 a piece, but are well worth it.

"In the long run, it more than pays for itself," said Jashinske. "I would say that we've already paid for both of these devices in just not having to use as much manpower."

Aside from identifying uncooperative suspects, Jashinske says the device saves motorist who may have simply forgot their ID.

"Let's say they don't have their identification on them, instead of us taking a lot of time to try and identify who they are, we can bring this device out and get it done within minutes," said Jashinske.

Manning says the device also gives officers access to an individual's criminal history with mugshots. He says the devices have been used in a number of situations.

“Number one, it save time and money in dealing with individuals falsifying their name and giving you false information. Number two, it has helped us identify deceased people," said Manning.

The La Vista Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol have also purchased similar devices.

Audio for this story provided by WOWT.