Florida First to Get High-Tech Criminal ID System

Authorities think the biometric scanner will make it harder for bad guys to slip through the cracks.

Madison County Sheriff Pete Bucher is getting a quick lesson on the new rapid ID fingerprint system every sheriff in Florida will now use to register sex offenders.

Under the Jessica Lunsford Act, sex offenders have to update their addresses twice a year in person at their local sheriff’s office.

Sheriffs say the new biometric scanners instantly tell them everything they need to know about the offender.

"It will help identify that that person is who they say they are, are they wanted for some other reason, have they come to our rural county because they’re hiding from anther county within the State of Florida."

You just put your finger on the tray and the fingerprint scan is instantly compared to 16 million individual prints on file in Florida.

Probation officers throughout Florida are also now using the small, inexpensive scanners to make sure no ex-con tries to pull one over on them during a regular probation check-in.

State Corrections Secretary Jim McDonough says gone are the days when someone gets away with a crime in another jurisdiction because the records haven’t caught up with him yet.

"And by the way, that probation officer has got that data in front of him in 60 seconds. So we now know that you violated and that’s serious."

Florida is the first state to put the rapid ID system in every sheriff’s office. But authorities think the day’s coming when they’ll be able to track convicted sex offenders nationwide.

The entire rapid ID system cost the state about $312,000.


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