Investigators will have access to the new crime-fighting tools starting Monday, The Augusta Chronicle reported.
About half of the prints found at crime scenes in Richmond County are palm prints, said Steve Fanning, a crime scene investigator in the county. The upgrades will be a huge help for investigators, he said.
Many crime scene units around the state have been collecting palm prints since 2010, when they learned of the possibility that the system would be upgraded, Fanning said.
GBI officials had met with users around the state two years ago, and asked what they would like to see in the next generation of Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS.
"They wanted palm prints," said Neil Gerstenberger, assistant deputy director for the Georgia Crime Information Center. "It enables the system to have a series of prints, which will help make quicker and more accurate identifications."
Now, the system only holds the first print, whether it's a good one or not. The new system will house every print, increasing the chances for a match.
Investigators will also have access to a federal database as part of the upgrades to the system, said Investigator Tom Johnson, who is also with Richmond County's crime scene unit.