Facial recognition now can match pictures from an ATM camera with a specific hit in an electronic mug shot database.


Don’t think much about facial recognition? Think again.

Paul Pastor now sees value in the security technology. He’s the Sheriff for Pierce County, Wash. That operation just used facial recognition to identify a suspect by comparing an automatic teller machine photograph against the department’s digital database of 350,000 mug shots. Arrest made.

The automated system enables law enforcement and intelligence analysts to quickly compare photographs of suspects against large databases of images, such as mug shot, driver’s license, or terrorist watch lists, and make identifications within seconds.

In the booking process, the Sheriff uses an Automated Fingerprint Identification System to check if a suspect is in its criminal database and then fingerprint examiners to validate the results. The addition of the facial recognition tool for mug shot comparison allows it to validate biometric identifications with a single examiner, reducing demands on staff and speeding the overall process. “It eliminates 80-85 percent of the work in booking repeat offenders,” said Steve Wilkins, forensic investigations manager.