Police Using Biometrics to ID Suspects.

Police Using BiometricsTechnology that has been available for years, at least on many television dramas, has become available to police that uses facial recognition to identify suspects. But it isn't just about getting a positive identification of those with a police record; it also provides officers with information about what they might expect from interacting with the individual.


The Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System (MORIS) allows a law enforcement officer to take a picture using their iPhone and transmit it to their headquarters’ computer system. Within seconds the system can search its database and if a match is found, will relay the information about the individual back to the officer’s iPhone. 

Their identity can be used to verify they are who they claim, as well as any background information on file. If the suspect has a history of violent behavior, the officer can use that information as a means of determining how to deal with them.

     Initially used by the department in Brockton, Massachusetts, to identify offenders with a background relating to gang activity, the system is anticipated to be expanded for use in nearly 30 police departments and sheriff’s offices throughout the state. Officials are excited about the system that provides officers in the field the capability to identify wanted suspects as well as information about them, which can help the officers on the road determine if their safety is at risk.

Some New Features Soon

In addition to the current facial recognition capability, the system is expected to be expanded to also use fingerprint identification and will eventually include retina identification applications. Officials stress that the system will not be used to stop random people on the street, but only for those who have committed a crime. Their information will be added to the department’s data base and be available if they are stopped again.

Some of the highlights of system being touted by B12 Technologies, the developer of the system is the rapid identification of known sex offenders and gang members and can also be used to identify individuals in the country illegally and those who are wanted on warrants. This will help officers identify those that need to be arrested in minutes rather than having to wait for someone at the station to perform a check. MORIS can run the background check, based on the photo uploaded by the officer, and return accurate information within seconds.

Improving Safety

Knowing who they are confronting on the street can improve the officer’s safety, especially when confronting an individual known for being violent. Currently, officers confront suspects without the knowledge of the type of person they are dealing with as well as those carrying identification that does not match their true identity.

By using facial recognition software, and in the future fingerprint identification, the officers can quickly learn if they are dealing with a known offender and type of hazard they may be dealing with. In addition to being able to identify suspects that may need to be taken off the street, MORIS can offer a higher degree of safety to the officers in many situations.


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