Crime pays in Harris County
- Written by Kathryn Howell
The Humble Police Department will soon have a new tool to help catch criminals – a latent print workstation. The system is pricey, costing about $45,000, but taxpayers won’t be footing the bill. The money will come from criminals. Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson presented a check for $45,370 to Humble City Manager Darrell Boeske Aug.12 for the purchase of a Motorola Printrak Latent Lite Station, using money from criminal asset forfeiture funds. “This check represents proceeds from criminal seizures by law enforcement,” said Magidson. “When people are arrested in Humble, law enforcement won’t have to go elsewhere for help with fingerprint analysis.” Magdison is proud that criminals’ ill gotten gains are going to aid police agencies. “This program enhances the work of officers and deputies and will provide a higher quality case to help us prosecute criminals,” he said. “The money just sits and collects interest if it isn’t used.” The police departments of Galena Park, Pasadena, La Porte and Houston have already been beneficiaries of the fund. Magdison also presented checks to Baytown law enforcement, Jacinto City police and the Bellaire Police Department. The latent print workstation enables unknown prints taken from crime scenes to be scanned, searched and submitted immediately, according to Detective Domingo Villarreal of Humble PD. “In the past, we’ve had to go through the Harris County fingerprint database, and they can have a back log of cases,” he said. “With this system we can scan, plot and search latent prints with instant results.” Magidson said law enforcement agencies in Harris County can take part in the program by sending a request to his office. “We want to use this money to give back to the community,” he said. “The message that we’re sending to everyone in Texas is to use criminal proceeds to enhance law enforcement.” Photo: Humble City Manager Darrell Boeske, left, accepted a check from Harris County DA Ken Magidson Aug. 12. The money will buy the department a state-of-the-art fingerprint analysis system.