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The government of Jamaica has awarded a $200 million contract to French company SAGEM SA to supply the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with an Automated Palm and Fingerprint Identification System (APFIS).
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, speaking at the signing ceremony held this morning (July 26) at his Oxford Road offices, informed that the acquisition was in keeping with government’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of the police to track down and prosecute criminals.
The signing follows on the heels of recent amendments to the 1960 Finger Prints Act, which now gives legal authority for the fingerprinting and photographing – without a court order – of persons charged with certain offences. It is expected that the APFIS will strengthen the implementation of the Act.
Additionally, Minister Phillips noted that in acquiring the system, the Ministry was seeking to give the police “an enhanced and modern fingerprinting and related capabilities to meet the expected new demands for fingerprinting and to generally strengthen the criminal investigative capacity of the force”.
The APFIS will allow the police to build an appropriate finger and palm print database to facilitate more efficient and effective checking of palms and fingerprints; increase efficiency in providing police records for the public and employers; and utilize the greater opportunity and potential for using the fingerprint technology in crime solving.
SAGEM will supply a turnkey solution based on their latest and most modern technology, which will include supplying software licenses; customizing the system; installing the system at central and remote sites; and converting the existing paper records for latent fingerprint records taken from crime scenes and criminal ten-print records. In addition, there is a full three-year maintenance agreement between the government and the company.
The system will be designed to manage a database sized to meet the requirements of the Jamaica Constabulary Force over the next four years and to meet requisite throughput and response times.
It will be deployed at one main site and four remote sites serving particular police areas. The main site is expected to be at the Police National Computer Centre (PNCC) and the remote sites provisionally will be at the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) headquarters/Area 4; Montego Bay /Area 1; May Pen/Area 3 and Ocho Rios/St Mary/ Area 2.
The system is to be fully implemented within the next 10 months.