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Gemalto fingerprint system to better serve Rhode Island’s citizens

Gemalto fingerprint system to better serve Rhode Island’s citizens
In 2015, the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, which oversees the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), began work with Gemalto to build a faster AFIS in a new facility that could handle the dramatic increase of civilian and criminal entries into their AFIS database.
Gemalto Cogent has been the state AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) vendor in Rhode Island since 2015. Prior to that, Rhode Island shared a Gemalto Cogent solution with the state of Connecticut. In 2015, the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, which oversees the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), began work with Gemalto to build a faster AFIS in a new facility that could handle the dramatic increase of civilian and criminal entries into their AFIS database.


A need for a larger facility and faster turnaround

As more employers and new government mandates require fingerprint-based background checks from citizens, the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office felt increased pressure to effectively serve a growing number of applicants. In 2015, BCI processed 18,822 applicants through the tenprint unit. Just two years later, BCI processed 24,238 applicants and are on track to process even more in 2018. Given the projected growth, the Attorney General's Office realized they needed upgrades to their current system and physical space to accommodate the substantial growth.


A bigger facility

The Attorney General's new Customer Service Center, named after former Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson, is located in Cranston and boasts 26,700-square feet of space. The new facility houses BCI, the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU), and the Diversion Unit, as well as additional office space for attorneys. 

Disaster Recovery site, a critical component

The BCI repurposed the old facility in Providence as a redundant, Disaster Recovery (DR) site for their operations. This protects data in the production site from being lost or corrupted. The DR site will sync with the new production system, now located in Cranston, throughout the business day in real time. This means that in the event of a natural disaster or other interruption, the BCI Office can continue entering and searching criminal data information through the DR site with little-to-no downtime.

"We were on a time schedule from the start. And when we originally met with Gemalto and informed them of the size and scope of what we were looking at, it was no changing of a timetable because a new facility was being built. We would not like to have a vacant building, so everything had to be on a strict timeline," said Chief William Karalis, RI Attorney General's Office.

Quick ID dramatically reduces civilian processing time

Beyond numerous criminal AFIS upgrades, Gemalto also created a new Civil Fingerprint System for the BCI. A feature called Quick ID captures right index and middle fingers on a Gemalto Cogent CSD450f two finger scanner and searches the database to alert the fingerprint provider if the applicant has previously been submitted for background screening. This process takes between 30 and 70 seconds.

If the applicant is already in the database, Quick ID eliminates the need to capture their ten fingerprints again, reducing potential errors and redundancy caused from re-enrollment. Prior to the redesign, capturing and checking fingerprints took an average of twelve minutes to process. Even when a person has not been registered before, new technologies and improved workflows have reduced that to an average of just two minutes to process an applicant.

Rapback system alerts employers in the event of an arrest

Gemalto's Civilian Fingerprint System improvements also included an updated State Criminal Rapback system and a new FBI Criminal Rapback process is planned to deploy in the next several months. The enhanced State Rapback continuously seeks matches between civilian and criminal fingerprints in order to notify requesting employers when a previously screened employee is arrested after hiring. The planned FBI Criminal Rapback integration will expand the screening to include arrests made nationwide.

Upgrade to LiveScan Software for more efficient criminal booking

Following the Rhode Island Criminal AFIS upgrades and workflow changes, Gemalto Cogent certified their latest LiveScan Software for use with criminal booking stations for all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The new software provides many new time-saving, error-reducing functionality enhancements to the booking process. The intuitive interface makes it easy to learn, and a “training mode” provides new officers the opportunity to gain hands-on experience capturing and enrolling prints using the real software.

Faster and more accurate latent examination

Gemalto's Universal Latent Workstation (ULW) enhancements will give RI criminal latent examiners the ability to quickly search latent prints through the FBI’s AFIS system with an easy-to-use interface for comparison and identification. The ULW helps examiners verify a list of candidates returned from the FBI, gives them management tools to store unsolved latents in the FBI’s database, allows them to verify unsolved latents against new arrest records, purge latents from the system and obtain a copy of criminal fingerprints from the FBI.


Targeted teamwork and weekly meetings

To develop this new AFIS on a tight timeline dictated by the opening of a new facility, Gemalto worked closely with BCI through a combination of dozens of on-site meetings and weekly phone conferences, reviewing and modifying the scope of the project and performing system testing to ensure trouble-free operations on opening day and beyond. Gemalto also assisted BCI with moving some of their current Gemalto Cogent equipment from the old building to the new building.

"Our goals were to come up with a quicker, expedient way of doing the fingerprinting. Cost was part of the discussion, timetable was part of the discussion. And again, it took good communication back and forth. It took quite a bit of timing to get everything in place. We used resources that the Gemalto team allowed us to have, sometimes longer than they had projected. Overall it was a good working relationship, both ways," said Mark McKitchen, Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.

Opened on time

The Gemalto and Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office team, with the support of Attorney General, Peter F. Kilmartin, successfully updated the statewide criminal and civil AFIS in time for the opening of the new Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson Customer Service Center in Cranston, RI, on July 16, 2018.

"The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office is a long-time customer and supporter of Gemalto Cogent and we were thrilled to be able to support them in providing new technologies in time for the roll-out of their fantastic new facility," said Robert Cimperman, North American Sales and Marketing Vice President, Gemalto Biometrics.

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