MADISON, Wis. -

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has started testing some new portable fingerprint scanners aimed at making it easier to identify people.

The scanners, similar to the ones used at the jail, have been installed in two squad cars at a cost of $1,700 each. Deputies will use the two scanners and determine if more should be purchased.

Deputies said the scanner was already used successfully in some cases. In one case last week, a deputy used the scanner to identify two men walking along Highway 14 near Cross Plains. The deputy suspected one of the men was lying about his identity, and the scanner found the 19-year-old had an outstanding warrant from another county.

“The system took the index finger print of the one individual and within two minutes of doing that, it got a positive hit,” Dane County Sheriff’s deputy Paul Thompson said. "I worked in the booking area for quite a few years having to take actual finger prints, and this is a hundred times faster and easier than that was."

The scanner can look up the name, sex, race, date of birth and state ID number for anyone in the Wisconsin fingerprint database.

Deputies say the scanners save time because they eliminate the need to take someone to the jail for identification.