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The City Journals

City adds fingerprinting service charge to fee schedule

May 08, 2017 03:51PM ● By Kelly Cannon

The South Salt Lake City Courts will now provide fingerprinting services to the community. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

The South Salt Lake Council added a $10 fingerprinting fee to the consolidated fee schedule during their March 23 meeting. The item was first brought up during the March 8 meeting but was tabled.

Hannah Vickery, the deputy city attorney for South Salt Lake, explained the staff at the courthouse proposed adding the administrative fee as part of their fingerprinting services.

Currently, the court staff through bailiffs who are contracted out, provide fingerprinting when ordered by a judge.

“There’s an OTN, an offense tracking number where the court has an obligation when people are arraigned on certain charges, and sentenced on certain charges that they assign this number and attach this number with fingerprinting,” Vickery said. “The purpose of it is to match the individual with their criminal history so that can be verified and tracked.”

The court has been doing fingerprinting during court time. However, Kristen Reardon, a court administrator, had concerns over court security and began looking to set up a system where individuals could come in during a prescribed time to be fingerprinted. It would be staffed by the bailiffs who would run the fingerprint machines.

“It is rather technical and these bailiffs are trained in getting the fingerprints. Given the new technology that is out there, the fingerprint machine will now let you know if the fingerprint is valid or rejected for not having enough of the verifiable ridges,” Vickery said. “Back in the olden days when you used to print on a card with ink, sometimes they would send it in it would get rejected because the number of points wouldn’t match up. So that’s been fixed but they still need to be trained on the machine.”

The purpose of the $10 fee would be to recoup some of the costs of staffing the bailiffs and the cost of the equipment, which was purchased last November.

When Vickery discussed the idea with Councilman Ben Pender, he suggested the court also offer fingerprinting services to the general public and charge for the service. Residents whose work required fingerprints to be on file could come to the South Salt Lake courthouse and have their fingerprints taken. Vickery talked to Reardon, who explained in order to offer that type of service to the general public, the court would need to be able to print the fingerprints so residents could take them with them. Currently, the court does not have the printer or the software to accomplish that.

The printer would cost $3,500 and additional training would be $1,000.

The council unanimously approved adding the $10 charged to the fee schedule during the March 23 meeting. The council will have to amend the budget in a future meeting in order to purchase the equipment but the resolution allowing the fee to be implemented was approved.