The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is better equipped to deal with crime in a more efficient manner with the assistance of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) provided by the Government of the United States.
The machines were installed at Police Headquarters and linked to the Grenville Police Station since January.
However, the official presentation ceremony for the machines took place on Monday during a brief ceremony held at RGPF Headquarters on Fort George.
In brief remarks made, Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James said that since the installation of the machines 79 cold cases on the island relating to property crimes were solved.
Commissioner James said these machines will enhance investigation capabilities of RGPF but warned that it is not a substitute for good police investigations.
He stressed that the installation of the machines will give investigators the chance to conduct more thorough investigation of the crime scene particularly regarding fingerprints.
While the machines have been set up at Headquarters and Grenville, the Commissioner has called on the US team to provide further assistance in installing other machines at other locations throughout the country.
“By the ending of the year the US Government will be happy with the number of cases cleared”, the acting Commissioner said.
U.S. Ambassador to Grenada, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Larry L. Palmer, made the official presentation of documents of the AFIS to the Ministry of National Security and RGPF in the presence of national security personnel including senior members of the management of the Police Force.
Ambassador Palmer explained that AFIS enhances border security throughout the country for finger printing analysis and that the systems throughout the region are connected to each other as a further means of protecting the region.
He added that AFIS tightens border security against known criminals and terrorists by providing law enforcement with the capacity to collect and share digital fingerprint data.
“This powerful resource has already yielded significant benefits for Grenada, as law enforcement officers have used the system to search and identify criminals through the AFIS digital fingerprint database,” said the invitation information from the US Embassy in Grenada.
Ambassador Palmer assured the nation that the United States would have no access to the system, but added that this latest contribution from Washington is a further demonstration of the strong and enduring relationship that exists between the US and Grenada.
Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Arlene Buckmire-Outram expressed her gratitude to the Government and people of the United States on behalf of Grenada and says that the AFIS gives law enforcement officers the opportunity to keep one step ahead or in tune with law-breakers.
Grenada is one of thirteen Caribbean countries to receive Automated Fingerprint Identification System to deal with crimes.
The digitisation of Grenada and other CARICOM nations’ paper fingerprint cards will raise Caribbean nations to the international law enforcement standard and ease coordination among law enforcement entities.
Funded by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and through Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance, the United States is providing AFIS at a cost of US$250,000 per country.