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Routt County Sheriff’s Office responds to dramatic increase in fingerprinting requests

The Routt County Sheriff’s Department will start to administer civil fingerprinting every Wednesday to streamline a dramatic increase in fingerprinting requests. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Complications with a new state program regulating civil fingerprinting have prompted the Routt County Sheriff’s Office to change how it handles fingerprinting requests.

The new program, launched by the Colorado Applicant Background Services in fall 2018, was supposed to shift the work of civil fingerprinting from law enforcement agencies onto third-party, private vendors.

“The change did not go as planned, resulting in unresolved issues with the new process,” Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said in a news release.

Under the new program, the Sheriff’s Office became the only law enforcement agency in Routt County that can provide civil fingerprinting services, which local businesses and individuals rely on to conduct background checks.

Wiggins said that his office usually coordinates with the Steamboat Springs Police Department to process more than 1,000 fingerprinting requests each year. About 32 different professions, from Realtors to teachers, require civil fingerprinting.

The Police Department currently is unable to help process those requests, which has overloaded the Sheriff’s Office. The department has been selected as an official provider of fingerprinting services, but it is still awaiting final approval from the state.

Two third-party vendors are currently approved in the state: IdentoGO and Colorado Fingerprinting. However, the closest private vendor, operated by IdentoGO, is more than 40 miles away in Craig.

The Sheriff’s Office released a statement Tuesday notifying the public of new guidelines it has developed to streamline the fingerprinting process and alleviate the burden it has placed on employees.

Starting on Wednesday, Jan. 30, the Sheriff’s Office will administer fingerprinting services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

It will continue to offer these services every Wednesday during the same time period until the issues are resolved.

Those in need of fingerprinting services will need to make an appointment. The fingerprinting process takes about 20 minutes.

They will also need to fill out paperwork prior to the appointment or download it online and fill it out beforehand.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to administer fingerprinting services for concealed handgun permits during regular business hours. Those services were not affected by the new program.

To ask questions or to make an appointment, call the Sheriff’s Office at 970-870-5503.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.


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