Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $563,258)
The goal of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) is to improve the Nation's safety and security by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information and by insuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems. BJS provides direct financial and technical assistance to the states to improve criminal history and other related records and to build their infrastructure to connect to national record check systems both to supply information and to conduct the requisite checks.
Under this award, the Maine Department of Public Safety (MDPS), Maine State Police (MSP), State Bureau of Identification (SBI) will use NCHIP funds for two projects: 1) to purchase and install a Next Generation Identification (NGI) Capable Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), and 2) to purchase and install a Livescan device in Cumberland County. Both projects address the NCHIP priority area of updating and automating case outcomes from courts and prosecutors in state records and the FBI's Criminal History File.
The MSP is part of a “Tri-State” system with New Hampshire and Vermont's State Police. Together, the three state's share the use of one AFIS system. The AFIS system is over 7 years old and can no longer handle the workload. In order to afford to replace the entire system, the Tri-State executives worked out a payment plan with their AFIS vendor to allow for payments to be made over the next 10 years. This award will cover the cost of the first eighteen months of the project with the remainder to be covered by the state using other funding. A functioning system will be delivered at the end of the project period, but the full upgrade will take several more years for completion. The Tri-State AFIS system allows the fingerprints that are captured to be analyzed for completeness, for comparison purposes, and for subsequent submission of prints, along with connected dispositions, to the FBI for their use. In addition to obtaining the full NGI capabilities that the FBI is operating, the new AFIS system will also give the Tri-State the potential ability to go to an AFIS cloud environment, as well as create other connections with bordering states such as New York and Massachusetts. The Tri-State partnership is an attempt to save money and share resources on each state's AFIS operations. Contribution to the shared AFIS by New Hampshire and Vermont will be monetary by funding an equal portion of the system with New Hampshire housing part of the architecture. Impact by sharing the system can be seen in the submission of prints to the local database on prints that may not be accepted by the FBI, but can still be searched by the Tri-State partners.
Currently Livescan devices are in all the state's correctional facilities as well as in the most populated area's police stations, except for one area: Cumberland County Jail. Cumberland County Jail has a Livescan but is outdated and now needs a new Livescan that is compatible to Tri-State's AFIS as well as compatible to NGI. The County includes the greater Portland metropolitan area and home to over 500,000 people and serves over 20+ law enforcement agencies. The current Livescan was acquired by the Cumberland County Jail and does not communicate or connect with the Tri-State AFIS which means a large portion of Maine's criminal history is currently not being submitted to the FBI. The new Livescan will be coordinated with SBI to ensure compatibility to the Tri-State's AFIS and subsequently linked to the FBI for processing.