ALBANY, N.Y. -- Six police departments in Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties -- as well as the Putnam County Sheriff's Department -- can buy new fingerprinting equipment with nearly $90,000 in state grants announced Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A total of 51 police and sheriff's departments statewide will receive $710,000 in state money for more accurate and efficient devices, according to a press statement.
State Assemblyman David Buchwald, a Democrat representing part of Westchester, said, “Police departments around the Lower Hudson Valley, including in the City of White Plains, need more modern tools to combat crime."
Police agencies were able to apply for up to $10,000 in state matching grants for each new fingerprinting device purchased. Among the local agencies receiving state money for the fingerprinting equipment were:
-- Beacon Police Department, $10,000
-- Clarkstown Police Department, $10,000
-- Mount Vernon Police Department, $10,000
-- Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, $19,989 for two devices
-- Westchester County Department of Public Safety, $8,351
-- White Plains Department of Public Safety, $10,000
-- Yonkers Police Department, $19,692 for two devices
The state Division of Criminal Justice Services said it plans to administer another round of funding for new fingerprinting devices next year. New equipment will replace existing devices that either malfunction or are obsolete.
“Fingerprinting is a proven and highly effective crime-fighting method – which drives us to help law enforcement agencies record and share fingerprints as efficiently as possible,” Cuomo said in a press statement. “These grants will help departments across the state, regardless of size, maintain a vital form of equipment.”
All fingerprints taken in connection with arrests must be submitted electronically to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. FBI digital fingerprint technology enables law enforcement agencies and the courts to instantly receive an arrestee’s positive identification and any past criminal history and warrant information from the state.
"Having access to upgraded fingerprinting equipment is crucial for keeping the public safe,'' Buchwald said. "I am thankful to Governor Cuomo for supporting our local law enforcement agencies.”