Challenges Expected To MI Portable Fingerprint Scanners


Police in southeast Michigan soon will be the first in the state to have portable fingerprint scanners to identify suspects, says the Detroit Free Press. The scanners are being tested by a dozen departments. Despite assurances from law enforcement agencies that civil liberties will be preserved, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan expects court challenges. “We do not in Michigan allow fingerprinting on arrest for any crime where the potential term is not more than 90 days,” including many driving offenses, disturbing the peace and minor in possession, said ACLU legislative director Shelli Weisberg.

Oakland County is to run the new system, bought with $3 million in federal grants. Officers will have suspects put their index fingers into the devices and get back a name, photo, description, and criminal record “within 35 seconds,” said Lt. Kim Rossman, an Oakland County technology specialist. The devices search a database of 1.8 million suspects arrested in Michigan since 1999, Rossman said.

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