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Fingerprint System to help Fight Crime

The US Embassy today handed over fourteen Afix Tracker Systems to the Police Department. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

Fem Cruz

“At a short ceremony held this morning at the Police Compound in Belmopan, the U.S. Embassy handed over 14 AFIS Tracker System. At hand to receive the donation was Commissioner of Police Allan Wiley, Senior Superintendent Joel Gillet and the Charge de ’affairs from the U.S. Embassy Adriani Gala neck.

Adriani Gala Neck – Charge de ’affairs

“This donation is a part of the US government’s overall partnership with the government and the people of Belize. As you know under that partnership over the last nine years the United States has devoted over forty-two million U.S. dollars to working with the Government and people of Belize in a number of areas. Citizen security is the large focus of the funding but also then we have economic prosperity and good Governments. The donation today is a part of the citizen security partnership that we have with the Government of Belize. It is an actually an ongoing effort that we have been working with the government of Belize on for many years. Minister Aragon had mentioned that the work goes back to early 2002 when the first fingerprint system was introduced. So, today’s donation upgrades and expands the fingerprint capabilities of the Police and the value is roughly $425,000 U.S. of this particular donation.”

Allan Whiley – Commissioner of Police

“We have had fourteen new systems placed across the entire length and breadth of this country including San Pedro and this system will assist us in our crime fighting in particular when we have incidents of burglaries where prints may be lifted by the technician- it will allow for those prints to be inputted into the systems at the various districts and then the officers will be able to search again the central database to see if there are any hits and then that would allow us to identify burglars or other criminals who may have left fingerprints at crime scenes.”

Fem Cruz

“Osman Mortis the person in charge of the system spoke about this new system.”

Osman Mortis

“It is an automated fingerprint identification system used for criminal investigations. What this system does is that it houses a database of fingerprints of persons arrested and convicted and whenever a latent print or crime scene print is lifted from a scene it is scanned into the system digitally and then searched against that database. Whenever we get a match in that system that match is verified manually by myself or one of the other experts in fingerprint analysis. Whenever we get a match and we confirm it we would then apply to the court and we take this matter before the court. Basically our system; it will take about ten to fifteen minutes to get a match and what we need to make aware is that not all latent prints will yield a match this is because not all suspects are in the system.”