Samoa
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New Fingerprint software boosts identification capabilities for Samoa Police

APIA, SAMOA – 03 APRIL 2023: The Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS) has acquired a powerful tool in the fight against crime and disaster response. Through the Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP), an Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Fingerprint Comparison Software (FCS) package has been handed over to the Samoa Police.

The AFIS and FCS packages were installed last week and marks another step forward for the ongoing Forensics Renewal Project, a partnership between the Australia Federal Police (AFP) and the Samoa Police to rebuild and upgrade the organisations’ forensic capabilities.

The AFIS system, which is capable of storing up to 50,000 records, allows investigators to efficiently search and compare fingerprints from a database, aiding in the identification of known or unknown suspects.

Head of Forensics, Superintendent Tagaloa Tipasa Matamu expressed his enthusiasm regarding the handover of the AFIS and FCS packages saying it will greatly enhance the organizations fingerprint storage and comparison capabilities.

“We are pleased to mark another milestone for the Forensics Renewal Project,” said Supt. Tagaloa. “The handover of these advanced technologies will greatly enhance our organizations fingerprint storage and comparison capabilities by streamlining the means of accessing, comparing and enhancing ink prints and latent prints stored within the AFIS.”

John Moloney demonstrating
John Moloney demonstrating

Australian fingerprint expert John Moloney demonstrating the fingerprint identification system.

The new upgrades to the Forensic services is a critical step forward in the Samoa Police’s efforts to rebuild and upgrade forensic capabilities with Police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo saying he was pleased with the progress made so far in the Forensics Renewal Project in partnership with the AFP through SAPP.

“The acquisition of the AFIS and FCS packages through the Samoa Australia Police Partnership is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance our forensic capabilities,” said Auapa’au.

“This powerful tool will undoubtedly help us in the fight against crime and improve our disaster response. We are grateful for our partnership with the Australia Federal Police in the Forensics Renewal Project and are confident that this development will have a positive impact on our forensic investigations.”

The package comes with software licensing, backup, and support for three years. The Forensics Unit will also receive two computers with ultra-high resolution monitors, a high resolution digital scanner and an ultra-high definition document camera.

Supt. Tagaloa Tipasa Matamu (2)
Supt. Tagaloa Tipasa Matamu (2)

Head of Forensics, Superintendent Tagaloa Tipasa Matamu with Australian High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner, the Minister of Police and the Commissioner of Police.

In addition, Australian fingerprint expert John Moloney, was on-site to conduct the installation and provide training to Samoa Police Forensic members. The training will equip the Forensic Unit with the necessary skills to select and scan usable hardcopy fingerprint forms, produce jpeg image files, download historical and usable stored fingerprint records, convert them to searchable files in the database, and provide impression enhancement for digital capture and presentation for court proceedings and digital database management.

The total cost of the AFIS and FCS package is valued at AUD$65,000 and AFP Senior Officer, Detective Superintendent Daniel Evans said the acquisition of the AFIS system and the FCS package is a significant boost into the Samoa Police ability to solve crimes and respond to disasters.

“As partners in law enforcement, the Australian Federal Police is proud to support the Samoa Police with the handover of cutting-edge finger print storage and identification technologies,” said D/Supt Evans.

“We remain committed to building the capacity and capabilities of the Forensic Unit which will enable the Samoa Police to enhance their capacity to solve crimes and respond to disasters, ultimately making Samoa a safer place for its citizens.”

The AFP also supports Forensic Capability Development across the Pacific and supports the work of Pacific Forensic Working Group (PFWG). The PFWG is chaired by Supt. Tagaloa and will meet in Canberra in April this year. Through the AFP regional program Samoa Police members have recently attended Pacific Fire Investigation Training, Digital Forensics Training and are using the new online learning platform (Moodle) which has been introduced by the Pacific Forensic Working Group (PFWG) and replicates AFP online training for forensics.