July 10, 2013

Valley police departments utilizing digital fingerprinting

A hand-held device that resembles a cellphone and taps fingerprint databases to help police officers identify people in the field is catching on with several departments in the Valley.

Officers say the devices are a valuable tool — particularly when they encounter people who aren’t carrying ID cards or who give false information.

“With these finger scanners ... you’re talking less than a minute (and) you know who you’re dealing with,” Chandler Sgt. Joe Favazzo said.

“The safety factor and the time-saving factors are just amazing.”

Not everyone is as sold on them, however, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which has voiced privacy concerns.

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