New Forensic Equipment

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A first for the state of Georgia is access to FBI fingerprint files, getting fingerprints off old evidence, and using gold and zinc to fight crime. Thomas County law enforcement gets high-tech with new equipment. It's called the Vacuum Metal Deposition System.

Thomas County Identification Technician Joe McMurray said, "It uses different metals to adhere to deposits left from fingerprints. One metal attaches to the fingerprints and the second metal attaches to the first metal, which makes it visible for us to see."

Officers say this new equipment can detect fingerprints over 20 years old. In addition to new fingerprint technology is a computer system giving access to FBI files, which will make it easier for law enforcement to find out if someone is wanted outside the Peach State.

Thomas County Identification Technician Daniel Surles said, "We're very excited, and hopefully we'll solve a lot of high profile cases."

Thomas County is the first county in Georgia to get this equipment, officers say the Georgia state crime lab doesn't even use this technology. Officers also plan to use this equipment to open cold cases, starting with unsolved homicides. The equipment costs $56,000, paid for by a criminal justice grant and drug forfeiture funds.