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Fingerprinting goes high-tech at ATC

Greg Elder, a criminal justice instructor at Albany Technical College, puts Dougherty County Police Department Detective Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick’s print in the computerized system.

Greg Elder, a criminal justice instructor at Albany Technical College, puts Dougherty County Police Department Detective Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick’s print in the computerized system.

ALBANY — Living up to its promise to train students to join the modern workforce including law enforcement, instructors at Albany Technical College displayed the latest in fingerprint technology Thursday.

“We have had many students hired by local law enforcement agencies,” said Kenneth Singleton, chairman of the Law Enforcement Technology Department. “We give them hands on training with the best equipment.”

Instructor Greg Elder showed the newest addition to the school’s hands-on approach to an advisory committee of law enforcement drawn from the Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County Police Department, Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office and the other departments in the area.

The new addition cost thousands of dollars, but was a great addition to the program, Elder said. It is a Live Scan fingerprint scanner and computer.

“With this you don’t need ink or paper. You just put the fingers on the glass and the prints come up on the screen,” Elder said. “It checks the prints and can go to the AFIS system to look for records of warrants. The Live Scan is available to all law enforcement that wish to use it.”

The AFIS Elder referred to is the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. It is a national system used by police departments and federal agencies such as the CIA, and FBI.

Elder also showcased equipment such as a trace evidence machine that collects hair, dirt and other particles saving the material in a capsule for criminal investigations.

Then there is the adjunct instructor, Randy. Randy is a specially developed mannequin that can mimic any injury, wound or body position necessary to set up a realistic crime scene with a body.

“I think this is a great way to prepare for a law-enforcement career,” said Dougherty County Police Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick, a member of the advisory committee. “This fingerprint equipment that we can borrow could come in handy too.”

Singleton said that a goal of Albany Tech’s law enforcement program is to keep law enforcement professionals involved with students.

“We want them to come in and use the equipment, meet the students and work with us,” Singleton said. “And for the students, what could be better than working with professionals you want to hire you?”