Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Gets Grants for New Fingerprint Machines

By The Chronicle

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office recently learned it was approved as a sub-recipient of a grant applied for by the Washington State Patrol to supply new four new digital fingerprinting machines.

Three of the machines will replace aging models in the jail and sheriff’s office and a fourth is a portable model deputies can use while on the road.

The grant will pay for 90 percent of the total cost of the machines, or $45,758, said Chief Deputy Dusty Breen. The sheriff’s office will have to pay a 10 percent match of $5,084.

The sheriff’s office currently owns three fingerprinting machines — two at the Lewis County Jail and one in the special services division.

The machines don’t use paper and ink, but scan a person’s fingers and upload the fingerprints digitally, Breen said.

The two in the jail are used to book inmates and confirm identities, while the one in the sheriff’s office is used to process concealed weapon permits, register sex offenders and for employment purposes, he said.

Breen said he isn’t sure exactly how old the three machines are, but said they are nearing the end of their useful life.

“When Windows 7 support ends … these machines would cease to operate,” he said. “We knew 2020 was going to be the deadline.”

The portable scanner can be used by deputies when a suspect is refusing to identify themselves or to identify human remains, among other uses, Breen said.