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Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Technology Being Used to Get Ahead of the “Suspense File”

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has a new tool to assist in preventing cases from going into suspense. The new Fingerprint Lookup feature to the e-charging program automatically queries complaints and citations for felony, gross misdemeanor, and targeted misdemeanor cases requiring fingerprints. It also alerts users when it detects mismatching key identifier information such as name, date of birth, originating agency case number, or controlling agency ORI (the national agency identifier made up of numbers and letters.)

The BCA is the repository for these records, and it has historically been the lack of the defendant’s fingerprints which are needed to unequivocally match an individual with a specific criminal conviction that causes the problem. But it can also be a spelling error, a mistake in recording a birthdate or all those other numbers that need to be entered. Without all of the correct data, the conviction is not on the criminal history and is kept in “suspense.”

BCA manager Suzanne Cellettee said the new software catches the needed items as soon as the complaint is filed via the e-charging. “It is so hard for departments to go back and get the needed information later,” she said. The new Fingerprint Lookup Feature keeps departments ahead of the problem, will increase the accuracy of the criminal history files, and keep criminal histories accurate. That is good risk management.

The BCA has asked us to help get the word out on Fingerprint Lookup. For more information, contact Carla Duellman at (651) 793-2424 or Suzanne Cellettee at (651) 793-2606.

Up next time: Some quick updates

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


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