KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office has received new technology that could help investigations move faster, all because deputies have new equipment right at their fingertips.
"We can literally leave a crime scene, run it and within minutes possibly get a hit," Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan said.
Boan is excited to have an automated fingerprint identification system in house.
“The way we were doing it up until now, we would send it off to the state, and then they would have to prioritize it with every other submission of finger prints throughout the state," Boan said.
Now, they are first in line.
“The advantage of having this in your own county is that now I can prioritize every case we get," Boan said. "When we get a set of prints lifted from a scene, I can prioritize where it goes in the order when it gets run through the machine.”
James Kester, a customer support engineer, came to help train investigators on their new tool.
"This piece of equipment specifically is called an expert latent work station," Kester said. "It is a direct connect to SLED, and it allows the law enforcement at this agency to process latent fingerprints from crime scenes.”
Kester said results on a print can come back in as quick as five minutes.
“It’s not like what you see in CSI, where it goes off and does its thing and comes back and says match, match, match, that doesn’t happen in the real world," Kester said. "It launches a search engine against SLED's database, and it brings back a list of candidates, and they go through and either include ones that look very similar or exclude ones that are nowhere near.”
And if no matches show up locally, investigators can then send prints to the FBI to see if any results come back from the national database.
“It’s been scientifically proven by the FBI that no two people, not even identical twins, have the same fingerprint," Kester said.
For Boan, he is hopeful this will help keep the community safer.
“Any chance we can use technology to get to a criminal before they have a chance to reoffend and create more victims out there the better off we are," Boan said.
Boan said if any agency needs a print ran, they are happy to share their new tool.