Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $453,000 in state grants to enable 39 police departments and sheriffs' offices to purchase new electronic fingerprinting equipment. With this investment, the state has provided nearly $1.2 million to local law enforcement since last fall, enabling a total of 90 agencies across the state to replace existing devices that are old or obsolete.
"Fingerprint analysis is a critical tool in criminal investigations and we must ensure police departments have access to the resources and the most up-to-date technology to conduct it properly," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants will help law enforcement across New York maintain and even upgrade this crucial equipment and strengthen their ability to keep our communities safe."
Municipal police departments and county sheriffs' offices across the state were eligible to apply for up to $10,000 for each device or other related equipment, such as printers, scanners and cameras. Priority was given to those agencies with the highest number of arrests from 2013 through 2015 and agencies hosting regional servers that allow others to electronically submit fingerprints to the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation could apply for funding for more than one device. The request for applications also required that agencies match state funds because the technology is crucial to both local law enforcement and the state.
Click here to view agencies and municipalities receiving grants.
Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, "Critical to the DCJS mission is our support of local law enforcement agencies. These grants will help ensure that police, prosecutors and the courts continue to receive positive identification and any past criminal history information of arrestees from DCJS within minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
All fingerprints taken in connection with arrests must be submitted electronically to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services – the state's repository of criminal history record information – and the FBI. Digital fingerprint technology enables law enforcement agencies and the courts to instantly receive an arrestee's positive identification and any past criminal history and warrant information from the state. This information is crucial in determining how cases against arrested individuals proceed, including whether bail is set by the court.
This is the second time in seven months that the Division of Criminal Justice Services has awarded grants for this technology. Last fall, 51 agencies received a total of $710,000. The Division of Criminal Justice Services expects to make funding for this technology available annually, with the ultimate goal of helping all agencies upgrade to new technology and associated equipment.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state's DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.
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