BENTON -- The Scott County Sheriff's Department may soon be equipped with a state-of-the-art fingerprint system.
During their regular meeting Tuesday, Scott County commissioners approved applying for a grant to fund the purchase of a new fingerprinting system for the sheriff's department.
"It's a $32,000 piece of equipment," Sheriff Rick Walter said.
The system's installation would include running lines to connect it with the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System, commonly known by its acronym "MULES," to provide a direct line with different agencies.
"When you fingerprint somebody, it goes into the database right then," Walter said. "It's a nice piece of equipment."
He explained this would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to positively identify subjects who refuse to provide identification. This in turn would eliminate some hard choices about releasing the unidentified subjects versus holding them until a positive ID can be determined by sending fingerprints to be checked.
The new fingerprinting equipment would be purchased with Homeland Security funding through the State Emergency Management Agency. Walter said there is no local matching funds for the initial purchase.
"The only thing we have to agree to is the maintenance," he explained. The annual maintenance would cost the county about $4,500 a year, according to Walter. "This will actually be out of next year's budget. If we get it, we agree to pay the $4,500."
Walter also advised commissioners he will purchase about six body armor vests to replace those that are expiring.
"It's going to be about $4,800," Walter estimated.
The sheriff said he is waiting on the release of a new lighter-weight vest to see if the price is comparable. "They're coming out in February," he said.
In other business Tuesday:
* Joe Burton, emergency management director for the county, said he will do some presentations on earthquake preparedness at some of the county's schools.
"February 23, I'm going to do one at Kelly high school and elementary," he said. On March 6, he will do the same for the Scott County Central schools.
"I'm really trying to put together a presentation that will hit home," Burton said. "Show them the reality of what would happen."
Burton also advised commissioners his Emergency Management Performance Grant, an ongoing source of funding, was increased from $11,000 to $16,000 despite being more competitive than in past years.
"What they really stress is training and planning," Burton said.
* County Developer Joel Evans said he will research the next round of interoperability grants from Homeland Security.
He also advised commissioners the due date for a microfilming grant is March 1.
On Feb. 9, Evans will meet with representatives from Records Management Solutions to discuss the record management process and preparing documents for microfilm.