Mahoning County unveils new fingerprint tool


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office has a new tool that will help in the process of putting the bad guys behind bars.

It is actually a classic form of police work, but with the latest technology.

A simple fingerprint is what police used to solve a 38-year-old murder case in Canfield Township last summer. Now the Valley has a new piece of technology that will take the human error out of the fingerprinting process.

“A detective on the scene has one shot at pulling a print. If he makes a mistake, you lose that print, you are done. In this case, you can take the object, bring it to our department, put it in the machine and it memorializes the print,” said Mahoning County Sheriff’s Major Jeff Allen.

It is called the Cyano Safe. It uses Cyanoacrylate, which is basically super glue turned into flumes, that attach to the oils of the skin on objects that permanently stick.

“It takes the potential for human error out of the equation during the dusting process, the lifting of the print process. And sometimes when you are sending prints out to the lab, sometimes damage can occur during that as well,” said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

The machine costs $5,000, but the taxpayers did not have to pay a dime. The device was purchased with drug seizure money.

“Law enforcement has always seized drug money. It is just what you can do with it. With our department, it is the first time we have used it for something like this and I think it’s going to go a long way,” Allen said.

And it already has. Greene said law enforcement agencies around the Valley will be able to use the new tool and they are already calling.

“We already got contacted by a local law enforcement agency that wants to use it for a jewelry box,” Greene said.

The Sheriff’s Department will not charge any agency that wants to use the new tool.

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