Criminal Records Are Soon to Be Automated

Article excerpt

The Justice Department is giving about $2 million to the District, Maryland and Virginia to help automate and improve the quality of criminal-history records - part of a package totaling more than $42 million for states and U.S. territories.

The money, according to Justice Department officials, will help law enforcement officers identify suspected criminals and will assist state and local agencies in conducting background checks for guns.

"This nation's system of background checks for gun purchases has already blocked more than 400,000 gun sales to ineligible persons," Attorney General Janet Reno said in a statement. "These grants will help us continue to make America safer by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and others who should not have them."

The Justice Department this week awarded $924,021 to the Virginia State Police; $770,000 to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; and $278,288 to the Metropolitan Police Department in the District. The Justice Department has given more than $12.6 million to the three entities over the past four years as part of the $273.1 million it has awarded overall for the program. …