The city of Washington will now pay for a police electronic fingerprinting system.

Washington Police Chief Ed Menefee said the state is no longer picking up the tab for the LIVE Scan electronic fingerprinting system. In order to keep using it, the city will have fund its use.

The Washington City Council supported the plan at the Oct. 23 administration/operations committee meeting and will vote on funding the operation at a future meeting.

Menefee said the system will cost the city $5,928 annually. He said there is a five-year agreement in place with the state paying for one of the years. The total cost for four years will be $23,712.

The city has used LIVE Scan for 11 years. Menefee said the program was originally funded by Missouri State Highway Patrol grants as an incentive to get departments on board and create a statewide database.

The funding for the program has ended and in order to keep using it, the city will have to pick up four of the five years on the service agreement.

The automated system means officers don’t have to use ink to get fingerprints. The fingers and placed on a scanner and the file is then sent digitally to the criminal records division of the highway oatrol in Jefferson City.

Within a short period of time, the print is scanned and compared with those in the database. Menefee said the quick comparison lets officers know if a person is who they say they are. It also lets police know if a person has warrants or a prior record.

“It’s an integral part of our report writing and booking system,” he said.

At a future meeting, the county will vote on a contract with MorphoTrak, LLC to continue using LIVE Scan.