DPSCS Rolls Out Live Scan Digital Technology to Close an Information Gap
Security integration, aiding law enforcement, improving public safety

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Towson, MD (July 21, 2010)---In a continuing effort to assist law enforcement, close information gaps, and make the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) function as a leader in public safety, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) today showed off new technology called the Livescan crossmatch system. The system was demonstrated in the Westminster DPP office by DPP Director Patrick McGee and DPSCS Chief Information Officer Ron Brothers.

Livescan allows a parolee or probationer to be digitally fingerprinted, palm-printed, and photographed at one machine. This closes an information gap: until now, police agencies were not always able to immediately ascertain whether someone was under Parole and Probation supervision. Now, that important component of an offender’s record will show up as a reportable event on his or her “RAP” sheet within minutes after Livescan completes the process.

“Thanks to Governor O’Malley’s commitment to Parole and Probation, we are taking a leadership role with security integration---sharing information better than ever with law enforcement agencies here and across the country,” says DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.

The technology is another example of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) working with DPSCS to help fund important public safety initiatives. GOCCP helped secure the grant of nearly $405,000 for the most recent 14 DPP office Livescans. Under the O’Malley administration, Parole and Probation has been a priority agency, with an intensive focus on taking repeat violent offenders off the streets. DPP’s Violence Prevention Initiative has been critical in helping jurisdictions reduce shootings and homicides, and in requesting more warrants and revocations when DPP clients violate the terms of their supervision.

Thanks to the grant and assistance from GOCCP, 29 Livescan machines have now been installed in DPP offices in every jurisdiction in Maryland. Some busier intake offices have more than one Livescan, and others will be installed in the coming months.

Statewide, DPSCS IT professionals have helped or advised local law enforcement and other agencies on 206 Livescan installations. DPSCS itself purchased a number of these for local agencies, sheriff’s offices, and detention centers. The machines are also installed in several Division of Correction state prisons.

“We are making tremendous progress with technology in the effort to improve information-sharing,” says DPSCS IT Chief Information Officer Ron Brothers. “What used to be very difficult to locate now in some cases can be viewed within minutes. We continue to improve IT systems that help not only our internal DPSCS agencies, but law enforcement across the state too. That translates into improved public safety for all of us.”

“With all of the advanced technology available today on the open market, document and identity fraud has become a far more formidable problem for the criminal justice system. We are only able to do our jobs effectively if we know with certainty who we are dealing with, whether it be in the field or in our offices,” says Westminster Police Chief Jeff Spaulding. “The Livescan technology provides that level of certainty while at the same time minimizing the time required for identity verification. It will also ensure that law enforcement is aware that an arrestee is under the active supervision of Parole and Probation at the earliest possible opportunity, enhancing interagency communication and offender accountability.”

The Westminster DPP office is busy, with more than 1,500 active cases. Statewide, DPP has offices in Baltimore City and all 23 Maryland counties. Its nearly 700 agents and Drinking Driver Monitor Program monitors supervise more than 71,000 people in the community. Overall, DPP has more than 1,300 employees.

The Livescan demonstration comes during American Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision Week, a time to recognize the critical efforts of parole and probation agencies across the country in the battle to improve public safety.

“Our agents and employees are proud to serve the citizens of Maryland,” says DPP Director Patrick McGee. “This is largely unheralded work, but vital to the safety of all Marylanders. Agents and other DPP employees should be applauded, because they really are the first line of defense in our communities all across Maryland.”