Archive for Wednesday, July 30, 2008

High-tech equipment could aid local law enforcement

July 30, 2008

Area law enforcement may be better able to track serious offenders following the approval of a $55,155 expenditure for Livescan fingerprinting equipment by the Leavenworth County Commission Monday.

Undersheriff Ron Cranor presented the board with information on Livescan, which county administrator Heather Morgan said "allows our (the sheriff department's) information about fingerprints, tattoos and other scars to be transmitted to the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) and processed in a centralized database."

Cranor said the equipment - to be used for serious offender documentation as well as conceal/carry licensing at the Leavenworth County Justice Center - will replace a 10-year-old Printrak device that is no longer compatible with the KBI's current system.

"They (the KBI) want all of this in a package deal, sent through electronic means to get to their files," Cranor said, explaining that the biometric Livescan devices would record fingerprints, palm prints and other recognizable tattoos, marks or scars on an individual.

He said with $54,999 in the jail's depreciation account for Printrak replacement and $16,200 from the KBI in direct grant funding, the expenditure "was kind of a no-brainer."

He noted the KBI funding would only be available if the Livescan devices were operational by Sept. 30, 2008.

Ultimately, the board voted, 2-0, with commission chairman Clyde Graeber abstaining, to waive normal bidding requirements for the purchase from Cross Match Technologies, utilizing the state's contract to purchase the equipment.

In other business Monday, the board:

¢ Unanimously approved the hiring of an additional officer for the county's community corrections department.

¢Discussed whether or not to divulge certain classified information concerning courthouse and justice center security that was recently received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to City of Leavenworth officials.

Graeber said the information "does affect them (the city) in that they're one of the major occupants of the (justice center)," but he added that certain recommendations for the jail or district courts, for instance, should be redacted.

"In order to gain their support, they (city officials) are almost going to have to have full knowledge of the whole project," commissioner Dean Oroke said.

Morgan noted that, after speaking with Leavenworth City Manager Scott Miller, "the city has concerns about the need for increased security."

Morgan also reiterated the need for city and county officials to review an operating agreement for the justice center to clarify which entity is financially responsible for repairs at the center.


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