Council expected to approve hiring of fingerprint examiner - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Council expected to approve hiring of fingerprint examiner

The Wilmington Police Department could soon get quicker results for fingerprint examinations. (Source: WECT) The Wilmington Police Department could soon get quicker results for fingerprint examinations. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The Wilmington Police Department could soon get quicker results for fingerprint examinations.

A resolution that would have the city provide funding to New Hanover County for a latent fingerprint examiner is on the consent agenda for Tuesday night's Wilmington City Council meeting.

The city would provide the county with $81,000 to fund the position.

The latent print examiner would be considered a county employee but also would work on WPD investigations.

When asked why this arrangement was being used, WPD Deputy Chief Mitch Cunningham said a state law passed a few years ago required accreditation of all forensic services for law enforcement.

"You have to have two employees - one to do the work and the second employee to validate the results," Cunningham told council members. "What this allows us to do with just one employee, instead of having to hire two, is we can work in a full accredited lab, which is the sheriff office's. It's a great leveraging of our resources."

According to material prepared for city council, the WPD has been without the ability to examine latent fingerprints on its own since 2015.

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