Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems

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about Fingerprint in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Automated fingerprint identification systems were developed in the mid-1990s as a computer-based alternative to ink fingerprinting. These automated systems have allowed law enforcement agencies to accurately take and match fingerprints within seconds that previously would have taken years to match manually. Using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), law enforcement personnel no longer must roll the fingers of those being printed in ink and then press each finger onto a paper card. Rather, automated systems use a computer to take fingerprints and handprints when the individual's hand is placed on the machine just as one would place a sheet of paper on a copy machine. The IAFIS computer scans the images and reproduces them on paper, in many cases dispensing altogether with the need for fingerprint cards. These images, unlike those on a copy machine, are not immediately forgotten.

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