King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System

For three decades, AFIS has helped law enforcement solve thousands of cases.

For three decades, King County’s Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS) has helped law enforcement agencies throughout the county solve thousands of cases. On Nov. 5, the King County Council recognized the AFIS program.

The program is a regional database of fingerprints, photos and additional evidence that helps in the investigation and arrest of suspects.

Funded by a voter-property tax levy, the AFIS program serves all 39 cities and unincorporated areas in King County. AFIS technicians respond to crime scenes and process evidence using chemicals, photography and other means to find fingerprints and palm prints left at crime scenes. Law enforcement throughout the region can access this information from a central database.

AFIS staff also capture booking photos, collect DNA samples and create photo montages. Their services include working with victims of identity theft and identifying injured, unconscious or deceased individuals.

“Over the last 30 years the AFIS has been an irreplaceable tool in the apprehension of criminal suspects and has become a model for cost-effective regionalized services,” said county councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I look forward to their continued good work in helping to keep the residents of King County safe.”

Recently, AFIS technology was used to track down suspects in the killing of the son of a Seattle police officer.

The recognition reads, “King County has achieved 30 years of continuous local AFIS technology and operations, beginning with the first computer installation in 1988, and upgrade in 1999 and a system replacement in 2011.”

County Council and King County Executive Dow Constantine recognized the staff and leadership of the county’s regional AFIS program.

“King County criminal justice agencies consider the AFIS program to be essential to law enforcement and value its high standards and service,” reads the recognition.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht congratulated the AFIS staff for “30 years of success in helping to solve thousands of cases.”

The AFIS staff serves with expertise and is a critical component to public safety and delivering justice for crime victims and their families.

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