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Commissioners OK airport fingerprinting system

October 09, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a high-resolution fingerprint system that will enable the Hagerstown Regional Airport to conduct background checks on potential employees and aid the Sheriff's Department in investigations.

Airport Operations Manager Ed Rakowski said the airport will be able to perform criminal background checks on job candidates with the device, called the Cross Match ID 1000 Live Scan Fingerprint System.

Cross Match Technologies Inc. is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Rakowski said it also will allow the Sheriff's Department to do forensic examinations of fingerprints for law enforcement matters.

The county is paying for the machine with a $33,061 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Sheriff's Department is pitching in an additional $1,800 to upgrade the system for the forensic tests, County Purchasing Agent Karen R. Luther said.

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The system will be kept at the Sheriff's Department.

The machine is the same one used by the Transportation Security Administration to conduct background inquiries on potential federal airport screeners, Rakowski said.

The FAA grant is part of an effort to increase security measures at airports across the country as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.

Earlier this year, the Hagerstown Regional Airport was chosen by the federal government to try out new security measures intended to detect explosives.

It was the second airport in the country chosen to test the pilot system.

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