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Article posted Jan 21 2013, 2:58 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: AZ Central Print

Mesa police tout mobile fingerprint scanners

As Mesa police officers talked last week about their newest whiz-bang technology, Mayor Scott Smith couldn’t help thinking about an old movie.

“It reminds me of the time I saw a girl passed out in an alleyway, and the police came and did a retina scan” to figure out who she was, he said. “Oh, wait — that was ‘Back to the Future II.’ ”

The cops weren’t demonstrating retina scans during Thursday’s City Council study session. They were demonstrating fingerprint scans — on the council members themselves. Evidently, the council has no outstanding warrants; no one was hauled away in handcuffs.

But Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Tony Landato said that has happened on the streets since the department began using six scanners in a pilot program during last Fourth of July weekend.

Now the department is buying 30 more, pending council permission.

The cost is a bit over $53,000, $50,000 of which is from a federal grant under auspices of the 2009 federal stimulus package.

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