Deputies toting new mobile fingerprint scanners

Photo Credit: Adam Pinsker

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is equipping some of his deputies with hand held devices that allow them to confirm a suspicious person's identity in the field.

Lott says the new Blue Check devices can read a person's fingerprint and quickly confirm if they have an outstanding warrant.

"They encounter people who are going to lie to them that they may be wanted," said the Sheriff. "They're going to be able to identify someone and it may save a life, not only a deputy, but a citizen."

At a press conference Thursday, Lott said the department used confiscated drug money to purchase the equipment.

The decision to deploy this technology stems from the notion that suspicious people often lie about their identity when questioned by authorities.

The Blue Check system only links to the fingerprint database in Richland County. So far the devices have not been used to make an arrest.

Captain Chris Cowan says it is a voluntary program that can be declined by a person.

What do you think about the new fingerprint scanners? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.