Indianapolis Police Department Enhances Fingerprint Identification System

Integrated palmprint matching ensures higher success rate.

by / April 20, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Police Department's (IPD) recently enhanced its fingerprint identification system by integrating palmprint matching technology.

The expanded system, which integrates NEC Solutions America's (NECSAM) automated palmprint matching capability into a previously existing NECSAM Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), became fully operational approximately six months ago. Since deploying the palmprint matching capability, the integrated system has yielded 119 "hits," or matches of latent palmprint searches.

The hit rate is particularly impressive because of the disproportionate sizes of the two databases. IPD's existing NEC AFIS database, which went online in 1992, currently contains 320,000 records, while the six-month-old palmprint database includes 19,000 records.

"The automated palmprint integration has identified criminals from cold and unresolved crimes," said Captain Donald Bee, branch commander of Identification and Records for IPD. "I am confident that with this integration, we will get accurate results on latent palmprints. When you consider the size of our database, our hit rate is outstanding thus far."

The integrated palmprint and fingerprint system digitally files the two palmprints from each subject and allows forensic specialists to search crime scene prints that were left from the palm portion of the hand against the database. The AFIS digitally stores the fingerprints of individuals arrested in Indianapolis, and the forensic unit of IPD then searches crime scene prints (latent prints) against the database to identify suspects for further investigation.

"About 40 percent of the crime scene prints we recover come from the palm portion of the hand, and without NEC's Automated PalmPrint technology, many of those crimes may never be solved or would require substantially more resources to resolve," said IPD's Sergeant Mike Knapp.

On average, approximately 1,500 latent prints are searched annually and more than 32 percent of them are identified against a record on file.
Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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