Mesa police tout mobile fingerprint scanners (AZ Central)
Monday January 21st, 2013
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.