Crimefighting efficiency took a big step forward last week in Lycoming County. The new Lycoming County Central Processing Center, hosted by the Old Lycoming Township Police Department, went into operation.
Two machines in the center can take digital fingerprints and high-resolution digital photographs, then officers can input information on identifying features such as tattoos and scars.
And it's quickly accessible for all county municipal police departments to drop off arrestees for booking.
All the information is then sent to the state's criminal data repository in Harrisburg and a full criminal history of the offender is returned within minutes.
That prompts an instantaneous search to make sure the person isn't wanted somewhere else.
Additionally, misdemeanor offenders will now be instructed to report to the Central Processing Center at an appointed time.
And the good news is that the Center's costs are absorbed by the offenders and equipment is paid for by a grant from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
The processing center isn't open 24 hours a day, seven days a week yet.
That goal is optimistically about two years from realization.
It can't come soon enough.