The Nebraska Automated Fingerprint Identification System better known as AFIS is a computerized system which provides rapid and accurate fingerprint processing and comparison. The Nebraska AFIS was first implemented on August 23, 1995 with five fingerprint workstations in the state. Since 1995 the Nebraska AFIS has gone through two major upgrades in 2003 and 2007 and is currently being upgraded in 2016. In addition, the AFIS networked has been expanded through the years and it now consists of six latent (partial) print workstations, nine ten-print workstations and more than 40 LiveScan (electronic) fingerprint machines and 12 hand-held mobile identification devices across the state. As of early 2016 the AFIS database contains more than 600,000 ten-print fingerprint records (criminal and non-criminal combined) and nearly 15,000 latent fingerprint images.
There are two types of fingerprint identification.
“Ten-print identification” involves collecting all ten of an individual’s fingerprints on a “ten-print card” and then comparing those fingerprints against of fingerprints from a database to identify potential matches. An individual can be fingerprinted if they are arrested or if they are submitting to a fingerprint-based background check for employment or licensure purposes. This type of identification is typically used to search criminal history records to determine if the subject individual has been arrested and fingerprinted in the past.
“Latent identification” involves comparing partial prints that have been collected at a crime scene against fingerprints in a database in an effort to identify the identity of the individual that left the partial print at the crime scene. Unlike what is portrayed on TV and in movies, it is important to note that the computer system does NOT make an identification. Potential matches are identified by AFIS but a human being conducts a detailed visual comparison to determine if the prints are a true match or not.
LiveScan technology has created the ability to collect an individual’s fingerprints electronically in high resolution images. These electronic records can then be submitted to the AFIS electronically. Despite the benefits of this technology, it is expensive and therefore can be cost prohibitive for smaller law enforcement agencies so the tried and true ink and paper collection method is still in use today. These fingerprint submissions must then be mailed to the Nebraska State Patrol to be scanned into the AFIS. LiveScans are located at the Nebraska State Patrol Troop Area Headquarters in, Omaha, Norfolk, Grand Island, North Platte and Scottsbluff. In Lincoln, the LiveScan is located at the Investigative Services Center. Additional LiveScans locations can be found by clicking the following link:
This system in addition to the main computer is comprised of 11 workstations and 27 LiveScans. Workstations are located at the Nebraska State Patrol Criminal Identification (CID) Division, and the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Laboratory. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Lincoln Police Department and Omaha Police Department, each have a workstation.