New Central Processing Center in operation

The new Lycoming County Central Processing Center, hosted by the Old Lycoming Township Police Department, now is in operation.

District Attorney Eric Linhardt and Old Lycoming Township Police Chief William Solomon showed the county’s new booking capabilities to the press on Thursday morning.

The two key machines for the processing center are the LiveScan machine, which takes digital fingerprints, and the Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network system, which takes high-resolution digital photographs and then officers can input information on identifying features such as tattoos and scars.

“We fingerprint and photograph approximately 80 percent of individuals arrested in Lycoming County,” Linhardt said. “We’re happily above the state average, but it’s not as high as it needs to be … with 2,000 offenders coming through the system every year it’s easy to miss some.”

All information from the two machines is sent to the state’s criminal data repository in Harrisburg, and a full criminal history of the offender is returned within minutes.

“They search to make sure they’re not a wanted person somewhere,” Solomon said. “They think they can defeat the fingerprints, and they can’t.”

Officers from all county municipalities, as well as the state police, will be able to drop off arrestees for booking.

All misdemeanor offenders are now instructed to report to the Central Processing Center at an appointed time.

“Eventually we’re working toward making this a full-time, 24/7 facility,” Linhardt said. “We’re hopeful that will happen in the next two years.”

The cost of the Center is absorbed by the offenders, Linhardt said, and the equipment was paid for by a grant from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.