Ohio crime fighters to tap palm-print database

Associated Press


Hundreds of thousands of palm prints are being scanned into a database, giving crime investigators in Ohio a new tool.

With help from a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, about 40 Ohio agencies from Akron to Vandalia are adding palm prints collected at crime scenes over the years to the automatic fingerprint database administered in Ohio by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI). Investigators say criminals often leave behind palm prints while writing bad checks, in credit card fraud, or other such crimes, or when they force open a window or door.

Some agencies have collected palm prints for years, waiting for the ability to use them technologically and a database to compare them with.

Hamilton County authorities in Cincinnati have 280,000 palm prints, by far the most among participating Ohio agencies. Columbus police have 110,000; Cleveland police have collected 70,000 and West Chester police have 30,000, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

In Cincinnati, the palm prints have been stored for years in boxes in the Hamilton County Justice Center, where three full-time workers and two part-timers have been working since late August to scan the prints into the system.

About 40,000 prints have been added by Hamilton County to the database so far.