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Several police departments are stating that they may reduce or eliminate fingerprinting procedures during burglary investigations citing rising cost of personnel needed for violent crimes. Sketch artist are further being reduced if not eliminated or outsourced all together.
Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit area police departments are now moving away from fingerprints and sketch artist rendering as a reliable source of evidence in lieu of security camera video and DNA. The Washington Post and New York Times both reported that every year since 2004, more and more burglaries and violent crimes in several metropolitan areas are being solved using video evidence instead of fingerprints. DNA evidence comes in as a close second.
Fingerprinting, at the same metropolitan police departments previously mentioned, are coincidentally becoming a cottage industry for police departments fingerprinting citizens who want to purchase a firearm. In 2010, Jody Wiess, then the Chicago Police Superintendent, said at a handgun conference, the department will fingerprint anyone who wants to legally own a handgun in the city after the Supreme Court ruled that the 28 year ban on firearms in Chicago was invalid.
The Chicago police department decided to charge $100 for the registration and fingerprinting each citizen who come in to register a handgun at a police station as well as charging $9 for anyone who wants to get fingerprinted for security jobs. Using fingerprinting equipment outside of the police department will be limited for now.
Criminal investigations in towns and cities across the U.S. are now relying heavily on security camera video provided by local businesses and homes. On any given block. Investigators can follow the path and general outline of perpetrators either on the premises of the crime or through other cameras in the neighborhood either in real time or within minutes of a burglary. Fingerprints in some cases never get lifted and sketch artist are only called out for violent crimes, not burglaries, even if there were witnesses to the burglary.
DNA testing is considered more reliable but for the moment they are more costly than fingerprint analysis but that cost seem to be coming down year to year and soon it will be even more affordable to get a quick DNA analysis than fingerprints.[tsp-featured-posts]