Palm prints make up about one third of all prints lifted from crime scenes. Los Angeles County has obtained a computer system that gives it one of the nation’s largest palm-print databases, the Los Angeles Times reports. Investigators can compare a palm print with 250,000 others from arrestees in minutes.
The $15-million Cogent Automated Palmprint and Fingerprint Identification system can compare a fingerprint with a database of 80 million others drawn from 4 million arrestees.
“We have had hits on a murder, a burglary and a carjacking already, and it’s only been up a couple of weeks,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Bryant, who oversees the Los Angeles County Regional Identification System. “This [new system] requires just a small portion of the palm from a crime scene.”
In the first two weeks of operation, the system generated 80 matches, mostly of fingerprints. “The system is a double-edged sword. With an increased number of suspects, you have to have the resources to review those results,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Beattie of the department’s Scientific Services Bureau.