June 10, 2017
Gardens Company Started in a Garage in ‘96; Now Helps Stop Terrorists
A company that started in 1996 with a fingerprint scanner in a garage in Palm Beach Gardens has come a long way.
Now, it makes fingerprint scanners used to identify terrorists abroad and wanted criminals domestically and recently completed a more than $2.7 million renovation that positions it for growth in the same city from where it all started 21 years ago.
“We started in fingerprints. It was a better way to take fingerprints than ink and paper,” said John Hinmon, vice president of global marketing for Crossmatch.
The biometrics company in the Northcorp complex off RCA Boulevard had a ribbon-cutting Thursday for its offices, which were totally gutted and rebuilt over eight months. The Department of Defense bought its retina and fingerprint scanners for use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, where soldiers could lift prints left on pieces of roadside bombs to identify terrorists.
The scanners can be mobile or mounted to a fixed point, Hinmon said. The most complex ones can scan all fingers, the colored parts of both eyes and tattoos that can be sent to the Department of Defense, FBI and Interpol to be checked against records on file. The devices, which run on lithium ion batteries, can also be pre-loaded with thousands of records of known terrorists or individuals of concern, Hinmon said.
Crossmatch moved into the Northcorp complex in 2000 and graduated to its current office space in 2002. With the capital investment finished in April, Crossmatch renewed its lease through 2023, said CEO Rich Agostinelli.
It also has room to grow, he said. Crossmatch employs about 150 people at its Palm Beach Gardens office where Agostinelli is based, but it also has offices in California and abroad. Its total workforce is about 300 people, he said.
The company makes both the hardware and the software. Its manufacturing side is in a former ice rink.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach Gardens Police Department are among the law enforcement agencies that use Crossmatch’s scanners to take one or two fingerprints from someone during a traffic stop to find out if that person is who they say they are and if they’re wanted, Hinmon said.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen Stepp, Assistant Police Chief Clint Shannon and Assistant Police Chief Jim Stormes, along with Mayor Maria Marino, toured the company Thursday.
“We’ve been using their product for more than a dozen years with huge success,” Stepp said.
The department also uses Crossmatch’s fingerprint scanners to make identification cards for parents in case their children are ever lost or abducted, he said.
The biometric scanners are also used to take time and attendance and to prevent fraud at stores.