By Joyce May
GATESVILLE – The process of booking inmates at the Coryell County Jail will soon be much smoother, not to mention less messy, thanks to a new digital fingerprinting and photograph system.
The Identix system is a combination of two software programs that capture photographs and fingerprints of people being booked into custody.
It replaces the ink and paper process used to fingerprint inmates and greatly reduces the possibility of people giving false information to law enforcement, said Jail Administrator Kenneth Green.
Instead of the booking officer having to make multiple rolled impressions of a person''s fingerprints, the Identix system is able to produce high-quality images of the fingerprints and then print out a high-quality 10-count fingerprint card for jail records.
"It will be instantaneous," Green said.
Mugshots will also be taken digitally using an advanced image capture system that locks onto the subject''s eyes, ensuring that inmate images are consistently the same background, lighting and dimensions.
The Texas Department of Public Safety purchased the equipment and is having the Identix system installed in all 254 counties in the state.
Jail Sgt. Ray Cain said the ability to positively identify a person if that person has been previously arrested is a great benefit.
Cain said once the photo and fingerprints have been taken, the system automatically sends the required form, called a CR-43, to the DPS database system in Austin electronically.
This speeds up the process and prevents the possibility of an inmate being released from custody before officials find out that the CR-43 was rejected by Austin, Cain said.
"It''s going to be a lot easier, a lot cleaner, a lot faster, and save us some time," he said.
The department has the equipment, but won''t start using it until everyone is trained on it, Sheriff Johnny Burks said.
Burks said he appreciates the state providing the equipment.
"Not only does this system provide an accurate way to capture and store identities of individuals booked into our jail, but it also provides all law enforcement agencies throughout the nation with an accurate database that they can access anytime, anywhere," he said.
Contact Joyce May at email@example.com or call (254) 547-0428