The FBI‘s Criminal Justice Information Services division has completed the digital conversion of its fingerprint, criminal history and civil files as part of a two-decade effort to completely modernize the division’s biometricÂ file system.
FBI said FridayÂ an estimated 30 million records and 83 million fingerprint cards have been digitized as it launches its Next Generation Identification system.
NGIÂ replaces the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification SystemÂ as it becomes fully operational next month.
“It makes those records immediately accessible to law enforcement across the country,” said Penny Harker, head of the biometric services unit at CJIS.
Usage of a digital system aimsÂ toÂ eliminate theÂ need for theÂ storage cabinets that consumedÂ large amounts ofÂ space at the FBI’s offices and warehouses, the agency said.
The bureauÂ said it hasÂ destroyed the original records after they have been scanned and converted, except those with historic value.