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Monday, January 16, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - Controversy in Tippecanoe Co. re ink vs electronic fingerprints

WLFI 18's Kayla Sullivan reported Friday in a story that begins:

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — Indiana State Police said it has always accepted ink fingerprints and wouldn’t advise otherwise if an electronic fingerprint machine goes down. This response comes after the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office told News 18 someone with ISP said it would not accept ink fingerprints as an alternative to electronic prints.

As News 18 was first to report on Wednesday, during the summer of 2016 an electronic fingerprinting machine went down for about a month and as a result about 500 inmates were not fingerprinted. But as we learned, the two agencies are not on the same page when it comes to procedures.

Now, state police and the sheriff’s office talk about what’s next.

“We do not have the manpower as a state police agency to hand hold and babysit grown adults that are charged with the responsibility of running their agencies,” said David Bursten, state police public information officer.

Indiana State Police are not taking the fall for the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office’s failure to fingerprint 500 inmates last summer, nor does it want to hold the agency accountable.

“The trouble they get is with their local officials, with county prosecutors, with the voters who put them in office,” Bursten said.

But the sheriff’s office was quick to point fingers at state police Wednesday, when we asked why jailers didn’t use ink to fingerprint inmates while the electronic system was glitching for about a month.

“Everything is electronic now. Nobody wants to deal with paper and paper prints. They told us at that time, we probably won’t accept these,” Chief Deputy Steve Hartman told News 18 on Wednesday.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 16, 2017 10:07 AM
Posted to Indiana Government