Mobile Fingerprint Devices and Rapid Search of RISC Empower Officers on the Street

Around 8 p.m. on August 26, a Florida state trooper patrolling near Ormond Beach made a routine traffic stop of a car he witnessed driving with its headlights off. As the trooper approached the car, he smelled marijuana. Following protocol, the trooper asked the driver for his license. As the driver gave him a South Carolina license, the alert trooper noticed the driver had a bank card with a different name.

Using a mobile hand-held device that allowed the trooper to instantly fingerprint the driver, the trooper submitted a Rapid ID transaction that searched the Florida state system and the FBI’s Repository for Individuals of Special Concern (RISC). Through a RISC search, advanced fingerprint matching software compares a subject’s fingerprints against those of Wanted Persons, Known or Appropriately Suspected Terrorists, Sex Offender Registry subjects, and other persons of special interest. The RISC system returned a “red” response within 46 seconds, notifying the trooper of an outstanding warrant for the subject within the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The driver was wanted by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia in connection with a murder and aggravated assault. The warrant had been outstanding for 8 years.

Under the guidance of the CJIS Division’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) Program, several law enforcement agencies piloted the RISC rapid search capability for more than 3 years with hundreds of success stories like the traffic stop in Florida.

With the recent full deployment of the program, hand-held identification devices can be used nation-wide and will decrease officer risk when dealing with subjects presenting false or no identification. The matching process is entirely automated, enabling an officer to receive a response within seconds. The on-scene rapid search by RISC is just one more tool the CJIS Division is using to provide vital criminal justice information in a timely way to the FBI’s partners in the law enforcement, national security, and intelligence communities.

For information about the RISC, contact the NGI Program Office at (304) 625-3437 or visit the NGI information page.