Database could help catch criminals, identify victims

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You are born with your own set of unique fingerprints. They never change, they identify who you are and can leave a trace of you behind. When a baby is born, the hospital takes their fingerprints and footprints for the birth certificate.

If the hospital took these prints for an identification system, the police and medical system could be greatly enhanced. Inverse.com said, “Since the late 1800s, fingerprints have been used by the authorities to identify individuals who may have been at the scene of a crime or other situation being investigated.”

By already having fingerprints on file, the ID system could help identify Jane/John Doe’s when they come into the hospital. FindTheMissing.org stated that, “Nation-wide, 4,400 unidentified remains are found every every year and over 1,000 of these remain unidentified after one year. Holistically, there may be upwards of 40,000 human remains nationally that continue to go unidentified.”

In addition to determining who the person is, the identification system could help aid resolution in rape and sexual assault cases. It could also help determine if a criminal left fingerprints at a crime scene. By having a set of fingerprints to match, cases of murder, burglary, and sexual assault could be resolved.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a system called The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS. According to FBI.gov, “it is a national fingerprint and criminal history system that responds to requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” It helps solve and prevent crimes based on fingerprinting and imaging.

The only problem with this program is that someone is only in the system if they are a criminal with a previous record. If someone was to commit a crime and its was their first offense, their fingerprints would not be in the system. If we took everyone’s fingerprints at birth and put them in the database, we could help law enforcement agencies do their job more quickly and efficiently.

Author: Kaylee Blumenfeld

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