City, Bainbridge school district may share purchase of fingerprinting system

Prospective employees and volunteers for the Bainbridge Island School District may be able to avoid a trip to Bremerton to get fingerprints if the Bainbridge city council signs off on a contract this week to buy an electronic fingerprinting system.

The city council will be asked at its meeting this week to approve a contract with the school district that would give the OK for the purchase of the system from Cross Match Technologies, Inc. in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The electronic fingerprinting system is expected to cost $10,482, and under the proposed contract with the school district, the school district would pick up $5,000 of the cost of the equipment. The bundled scanning system includes a laptop, software, printer and other fingerprinting gear.

Bainbridge officials said the electronic system has many advantages over the traditional "ink and roll" method of getting fingerprints. Officials said electronic fingerprints are more accurate, have higher quality and don't need digital enhancement.

Fingerprinting is also faster, without the inky mess.

The electronic system also means a person needs to be fingerprinted just once when multiple fingerprint cards are needed.

The benefits for the school district include a faster turnaround time. "Ink and roll" prints can take six weeks, while electronic fingerprints can be processed in two to three days.

Volunteers for the school district, as well as potential employees, will also no longer have to travel to Bremerton — the closest place with an electronic scanning system — to get fingerprinted. City officials said that will save 90 minutes of travel time for each person who needs fingerprints.

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