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Processing Center

What is a Central Processing Center?

A Central Processing Center is a centralized location which allows easy access to all Law Enforcement Officers to book criminal defendants. By utilizing three state-of-the-art technologies in a secure modern facility, officers are able to return to their respective duties in a shorter period of time, providing greater public safety.

The three Pennsylvania Systems are:

  • Livescan Fingerprint Computer System
  • Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network (CPIN)
  • Videoconferencing Closed Circuit TV Network

Livescan is an inkless computer system that captures fingerprints from arrested individuals. The fingerprints are electronically submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository and a search is made directly to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

The Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network (CPIN) is a statewide computer network that captures and stores digital photographs of arrestees. CPIN allows for unlimited photos to be captured of a suspects face, scars, marks and tattoos. The CPIN system can then create a digital lineup with those photos. The photos and any demographics are almost immediately accessible at all criminal processing centers throughout the state.

Videoconferencing links all District Justice offices in Montgomery County with the Central Processing Centers in order to conduct preliminary arraignments. This eliminates unnecessary transport of prisoners. The arrestee remains in the secure facility, eliminating the opportunity to escape. There are currently ten (10) Central Processing Centers in Montgomery County.

Participating agencies in the North Penn Area Central Processing Center:


  • Franconia Townshipcell door
  • Hatfield Township
  • Lansdale Borough
  • Lower Frederick Township
  • Lower Salford Township
  • Marlborough Township
  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
  • North Wales Borough
  • PA State Police, Skippack Barracks
  • PA State Police, King of Prussia Barracks
  • Souderton Borough
  • Telford Borough
  • Towamencin Township
  • Upper Gwynedd Township
  • Upper Perkiomen Police District
  • Whitpain Township


  • Police make an arrest and transport the suspect to the Central Processing Center.
  • Police enter the secure area and the suspect is turned over to the Booking Clerks or Sheriff’s Deputies for Processing.
  • Digital photographs and demographics are captured via the Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network (CPIN). Multiple color and B&W photos are immediately available.
  • Fingerprints are electronically captured and submitted to PA State Police Central Repository and automatically checked for prior criminal history and searched through AFIS.
  • If prior history is found, the new arrest is added to the existing criminal record.
  • If no prior history is found, a new state ID (SID) number is issued and a criminal history is created.
  • A Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) rap sheet is produced and made available to any District Justice for enhanced arraignment decisions.
  • Arrestee is arraigned via Closed Circuit Television Network with on-duty District Justice anywhere in Montgomery County.
  • If arrestee is remanded, arresting officer transports arrestee to prison.


  • 24 hour, 7 days a week operation
  • Secure weapons lockers
  • Trained Booking Clerks or Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies on duty
  • Video & Audio surveillance of prisoners while in the Processing Center
  • Computerized word processing for affidavits & criminal complaints
  • Positive identifications via fingerprints
  • Countywide “Video Arraignment” system
  • Photo line-ups readily available
  • Police Applicant – Fingerprint Submissions
  • Criminal costs placed on defendants

Where is the Central Processing Center?

The Central Processing Center is located at the headquarters building of the Towamencin Township Police Department.

How do Police Departments access the Center?

Police park in the designated areas at the rear of the Towamencin Township Police Department to enter, with a special pass code, into the secured area. Weapons are stored in secure gun lockers and the defendant(s) are thoroughly searched. Police will then enter the secure processing area using the pass code.