POLICE Magazine Supplements

Investigative Technologies 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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could theoretically follow a subject with LPR, but you would have to tail them in a vehicle, which is no dierent than stan- dard police surveillance of a person of interest, or know their route in advance. Otherwise, you would need a cost-prohibitive number of cameras. •e implementation of LPR systems in jurisdictions where the operators understand the ca- pabilities and limitations of the technology has resulted in some remarkable success. LPR hits have helped recover stolen ve- hicles, rescue abducted children and lost seniors, take repeat DUI oenders o the road, solve mur- ders, and break up drug and hu- man tra•cking operations. And every day savvy investigators are -nding new ways to use the technology. Facial Recognition Next to license plate readers the single most common inves- tigative imaging tool is the facial recognition system. •is technology -rst made news immediately aƒer 9/11 when it was proposed as a way to track known terrorists. •e technology wasn't quite ready for that at the time. But it's improved a lot in 17 years. •ere are great similarities in how most law enforcement agencies use facial recognition systems and LPR systems. Like LPR, facial recognition is for developing leads. As one user ex- plained it, "You can't just push a button, get a hit in the data- base, and make an arrest." It's also important to remember that the images captured of people at the scenes of crimes are generally not perfectly lit. •ey can be blurred, she may be wearing a hat, or he could have grown facial hair since the reference photo in your system's database was captured. It's also likely that your cameras won't capture a head-on view of the subject that matches his or her reference photo and/or mugshot. •is is why experts say using facial recognition systems can be hard work. Investigators say facial recognition is a faster and more ac- curate version of searching mug books or hiring a sketch artist. Probable cause for an arrest does not come instantly with a fa- cial recognition hit. It just helps point the investigators in the right direction, and they need more information and evidence developed through standard detective work before they can se- cure an arrest warrant. Still, facial recognition system success stories abound. •e NYPD operates its facial recognition system from the Real Time Crime Center and use of the technology has led to thou- sands of arrests. As with LPR, civil libertarians are very concerned about facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, stories broke about an Amazon system called Rekognition that law enforce- ment agencies are testing. Rekognition can do some of the stu that used to be TV nonsense. For example, it can follow a target in a crowd in real time. •at capability alarmed the ACLU, which argues that agen- cies could use the system to tar- get protesters and violate their civil rights. •e organization literally demanded that Ama- zon stop selling Rekognition to law enforcement. Currently, the Orlando Police Department is testing Rekognition on its own o•cers who volunteered for the project. New Applications Last year at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, Vigilant Solutions introduced a new tool that expedites preliminary ballistics analysis. •e system can process evidence in just a few minutes using a combination of digital imaging and soƒware. Like oth- er investigative imaging technologies used in law enforcement, the idea behind this system is to give investigators actionable intelligence they can use to gain leads. •e comparison is not for court. •at still requires a report from a certi-ed ballistics analyst. •is new ballistics tool shows how makers of investigative imaging tools are searching for new applications. It's likely we will also see more products that combine a variety of applica- tions. For example, the next generation of LPR systems may combine LPR and facial recognition systems with predictive policing and intelligence tools, and their capabilities may be taken to the next level via arti-cial intelligence soƒware. Q I N V E S T IG AT I V E T E C H NO L O G I E S | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | 11 PHOTO: NDI RECOGNITION SYSTEMS The Daytona Beach Police Department uses both stationary and mobile LPR systems from NDI-RS. Lenexa, KS, fields three mobile LPR systems from ELSAG. PHOTO: LENEXA (KS) PD

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