Chino Police Department To Get Facial Recognition Technology

The Chino Police Department will be one of the first law enforcement agencies in San Bernardino County to add facial recognition technology to its crime fighting arsenal.
Using biometric software to map individual human facial features abstracted from a video or photo, facial recognition systems match or contrast that data with information digitally cataloged elsewhere in a data-processing module to verify identities. This allows police investigators to scan rapidly through tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of photos to find potential or actual criminal suspects, those merely wanted for questioning or witnesses.
Facial recognition tracking technology has evolved considerably over the last three decades, and has been used in the public domain increasingly over the last 15 years, in many cases to enhance security, as when it is used as a second key in entrances to homes and businesses. In recent years, it has been adapted as an access code for cell phones.
Within the last several years, facial recognition has been used effectively in a multitude of law enforcement contexts, to identify suspects caught on photographic or video surveillance systems as well as in long dormant cold cases where photographic or video evidence may be available.
Photographic or video analytics typically use a first layer of human operation in which obvious non-matches are eliminated, whereafter photos or individual frames from a video are fed into a filtering system that seeks to match visual criteria and metrics relating to the dimensions of human visages.
Facial recognition can speed up ongoing investigations and alert officials when a known or wanted suspect or subject turns up on camera.
Privacy issues attend the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies. The reliability of the technology has also been questioned. While manufacturers of facial recognition systems say they are foolproof and that human faces are as unique as human fingerprints, the systems have been demonstrated to have blind spots, and there is documentation to suggest that certain software is unreliable in differentiating facial characteristics among members of some racial and ethnic segments of the population.
Reportedly, the Chino Police Department will not, at least initially, link its system to various video cameras in the city, but rather use the technology in a relatively limited venue, that being analyzing booking photos. An expansion of the system and its applicability is possible, however.
The Chino Police Department in recent years has cultivated a reputation for being on or near the cutting edge in the use of newfangled methodologies in policing. In 2014, it became the third agency in the county to outfit its officers with body cameras.
Next week, on Wednesday February 12 at 6 p.m. at the Chino Police Department Headquarters, 5450 Guardian Way, officers with the department will brief the public about the facial recognition system it is to soon deploy, and address any concerns or questions about it.

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