Adams County police department takes fingerprinting on the road

NEW OXFORD, ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. -- One Adams County police department has a new tool, which may not only help save lives, but save time.

It's a mobile fingerprint scanner that could prevent a quick trip to the county jail for anyone stopped by police without identification.

Someone telling police they forgot their ID or giving them a fake name won't necessarily stop Eastern Adams Regional Police officers from finding their identity.

Dealing with the unknown can be deadly for police. Officers with the Eastern Adams Regional Police department have a new tool in their hands to rectify a situation, not a weapon, but a mobile finger print scanner.

Eastern Adams Regional Police Patrolman Tim Mulder said "it's an officer safety issue, where we don't know who we're dealing with. With something like this, if they've ever been arrested or anything, we can get their thumbprints and stuff, it will come up right away, and tell us if you have anything out there, any outstanding warrants."

The mobile fingerprint scanner might not only be a life saver for police, but a time saver as well when interacting with someone who says they don't have ID.

"If someone doesn't have anything on them, and you take them out of a car up to the prison, that's wasting two hours of your time," Mulder said.

If someone in a traffic stop doesn't have ID or they give police a fake name, the mobile fingerprint scanner might reveal their identity.

An officer takes a person's picture, along with their fingerprints to search Pennsylvania State Police and FBI records for a criminal history or background check on file.

The scanner only searches criminal records, but some may worry the mobile fingerprint scan could become a permanent record.

"The female I had yesterday was worried about her picture, you know, who's going to see my picture. I could have told her several times, that ma'am you can watch me swipe it and it's gone," Mulder said.

Some stopped by police may refuse a fingerprint scan on the fly.

"We have to identify the person,so it's either this way, you can stay in your car, or we can take you down to the prison, it's up to the person," Mulder said.

Police will still conduct a finger or palm scan if they have to take someone to the prison to do it.

"That's why it's always best to carry your ID on you at all times, so we know who we're dealing with," Mulder said.