KBI says state's fingerprint identification system is becoming obsolete

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WESTMORELAND, Kan. (WIBW) -- The state’s fingerprint identification system is on the brink of becoming obsolete.

Chief Information Officer for the KBI Joe Mandala recently testified that it could pose a significant risk to law agencies.

More than 2 million fingerprints and their records are stored in the current Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

“Every once in a while, we'll bring an individual in and they won't identify themselves,” Pottawatomie County Sheriff Greg Riat said. “We need that ability to access the fingerprint identification system to get that made and to find out who it is.”

In his testimony to a state committee on technology issues, Mandala said the vendor for the current system, put in place in 2007, no longer supports it for maintenance.

If AFIS fails, it could severely affect agencies ability to submit fingerprints in a timely manner.

"As soon as we're done fingerprinting, we submit the button and it goes straight to the KBI,” Corporal Nicole Avery at the Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Office said. “Unlike the ink fingerprints that can take up to 30 minutes and then if you mess up, smear the ink, you got to restart it and do it all over again.”

On top of that, they would then have to mail in the prints to be put on file, which could take several days.

Captain Josh Kyle with the Riley Co. Police Department said it could create issues with criminals who bond out quickly.

“If the electronic system is faster, presuming that it is,” Kyle said. “You would find out, potentially, while the person is still in custody that they're giving you a false name."

“Let’s say they bond out of jail. If the electronic system is faster, presuming that it is, you would find out, potentially, while the person is still in custody that they're giving you a false name."

The AFIS system doesn't just affect criminal's either. It could slow down background checks for teacher's, day care workers and even for you to get a conceal carry permit.

Mandala is working to propose an $8 million upgrade that would take two years to implement.