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"High Tech, New Laws Have Impact on Law Enforcement"

June 01, 2000  | 

The Clinton (Mass.) Police Department recently hosted a day-long seminar to notify more than 150 law enforcement officials, who attended a conference, of the changes in gun licensing, fingerprinting, the notification of victims of crimes when prison inmates are released, and the availability of new technology.

Pat Natoli, vice chairman of the group, said attendees also received updates on criminal history topics and training to use the latest technology in addition to participating in setting new policies. The group of Central Massachusetts law enforcement officers were urged to keep complete, updated criminal records by entering information into computers as soon as possible, and were introduced to a new way to preserve fingerprints on a computer. The computer will check the sharpness of the prints,and then save them so they can be printed out when needed.

Harry MacDonald, with the state Criminal History Systems Board, said the equipment's initial costs are $65,000, and the annual maintenance is about $7,000. MacDonald added the system should come online in the autumn.

William Pickett, of the state firearms records division, explained that the old FID cards have been replaced with firearm licenses that contain a photo ID, and more background checks are made because more personal data is collected on applicants. In addition, license fees were increased, and the state police data bank, instead of individual police departments, is now the receptacle of all new licenses.

Attendees were also briefed on changes in the state's sexual offender registry, the releasing of police documents to crime victims, and technical aspects of using the information systems.

(Worcester Telegram & Gazette (06/06/00), Nugent, Karen; courtesy of NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary.)

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