Why its good to be a criminal in Oakland

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Why its good to be a criminal in Oakland

Leave the gloves at home if you want to do a burglary in Oakland. They can't process fingerprints any more. Nice of them to tell the whole world as well.

Stunning as it may sound, Oakland's Police Department -- which handles some of the toughest crimes in the Bay Area -- doesn't have anyone who can read or match fingerprints.

The fingerprint unit at the department's crime lab used to consist of three technicians. But for the past seven months, it's been shut down for lack of money and staff.

Oakland cops still dust for fingerprints at a rate of about 113 cases a month. However, according to veteran homicide Sgt. Phil Green, cops often don't even bother to submit the prints for analysis because they know it's useless to do so.

"It's a huge deal,'' said Green, whose unit has been trying to deal with 142 homicides this year alone.

The prints that investigators do submit join a backlog of cases awaiting outside analysis. That backlog now totals 162 cases.

"If the question is whether we will be able to address all these cases in a timely manner, the answer is 'no,' '' said crime lab chief Mary Gibbons.

Here
By netchicken: posted on 13-12-2006








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