UI police to charge fee for fingerprints

Beginning July 1, the University Police Department will charge a fee for fingerprint services upon request. When a person comes in to request a fingerprint, it will cost $5 for University students and $16 for non-University residents.

“We’ve been providing fingerprint services for some time without any charges,” said Cheryl Johnson support services coordinator for the Division of Public Safety.

“If someone needs fingerprints either for a job or some other purpose, we will do it. The fingerprints we take will not be kept on file. The fingerprint card will just be in the hands of the person who requested it.”

Johnson said that other police departments in the area, such as the Urbana Police Department, offer such services for a similar fee. Those who apply for University positions such as a security guard, continued Johnson, are not required to pay the fee.

There are a handful of jobs which would require an applicant to provide a fingerprint for their background check, said Gail S. Rooney, director of the University Career Center.

“There may be a change in the future, but as of now, jobs dealing with security and safety or anything confidential would require a in-depth background check,” said Rooney. “More and more jobs may be using it to protect the unit from any liability. If the job involves children or is harmful, a fingerprint usually is included in the application process.”

Although the fingerprints that are requested from the different police departments are not kept in their own records, departments use their own fingerprint database to help in tracking down crime suspects.

“The department uses the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) all of the time for investigations,” said Urbana Police Department evidence technician John Lockard. “The fingerprints are most effective in burglaries, car thefts and residential thefts.”

On Friday, fingerprints led to the arrest of a man who was involved in an Urbana residential burglary in January of this year, said Lockard.

“Fingerprints and DNA are the biggest breakthrough that had ever happened for police investigations,” said Lockard. “They have been essential in arresting many suspects all over.”