Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement

Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-08-05
Unit 1Slide Deck: Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement
Unit 2Transcript: Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement
Unit 3Workbook: Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement
Unit 4Recording: Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement

Technology made our lives easier. The world we live in has been made so much more efficient through technology – transactions and processes have become more straightforward and seamless, systems and agencies become more productive. It is no different in the government sphere as agencies maximize tax dollars and leverage technologies to help in making work and public service more effective. This session zeroes in on one of the technology-driven features public agencies are starting to utilize more and more – Iris Recognition.

Joining the Justice Clearinghouse to talk about Iris Recognition technology is Tim Meyerhoff, the Director of Iris ID. Tim has more than 15 years of experience and involvement in numerous initiatives that use multiple biometric modalities.

To talk about roll-out, usage, and benefits, he invited representatives from various government agencies utilizing iris recognition. First is Jason Thompson, Assistant Chief at the United States Border Patrol and Biometrics Program Manager for its Enforcement Systems Division. Los Angeles County Regional Identification System’s (LACRIS) Mark Dolfi, Project Leader of two procurement projects at LACRIS; and Stephen Bevan, a Technical Sergeant at LACRIS. And finally, Captain Michael Cuti, Video Arraignment Records Officer from the York County Prison in Pennsylvania.

Points covered in this session are:

  • An overview of how iris recognition works – which part of the eye is scanned, the type of illumination used, and the process from iris image capture to database matching.
  • The robustness of iris identification by looking at the convenience, uniqueness, longevity, and reliability of the technology.
  • The three major US government databases with iris identification capabilities which agencies may cross-search with.
  • The most common uses of iris identification in the government and law enforcement field.
  • A breakdown of the types and costs of iris enrollment and recognition devices and capability.
  • The Border Patrol’s Biometrics Program
    • How the Border Patrol leveraged iris recognition for their agency’s unique needs related to the undocumented individuals they interact with.
    • A look into the Border Patrol’s biometric collection and why the iris modality is seen to be a very effective identification tool.
    • The device that they use and the benefits of integrating the collection of iris images.
  • The Los Angeles County Regional Identification System’s experience with the technology.
    • A glimpse into their process of rolling out iris recognition – the sites where it’s deployed, the device used, and considerations for these.
    • The number of enrollments they were able to do in the last five years and their effort to bolster their database so the data may be used for other purposes.
    • The ongoing deployment being done to increase the devices throughout the county, their targets in terms of enrollments, and the objective of the program.
  • How the York County Prison utilizes iris technology to manage their facility for almost 20 years.
    • How it is being used for the identification and management of admissions and releases.
    • The benefits in terms of ease of use for the staff, the intuitiveness of the system, and integration with other facets of jail management.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • Ease of implementation of the technology.
  • The accuracy of the system and the probability of identification issues.
  • Multimodal identification to accommodate cases where the eye becomes damaged.
  • The system’s design that identifies prosthetic eyes, contact lens, or even pupil dilation as a result of medication or alcohol.
  • Using the technology to handle human and sex trafficking.



Audience Comments

  • “It was a great topic and totally new to me.” — Ana Teresa
  • “Thank you for introducing us to the identification of the future! Safer acquiring process.”  — Roseann
  • “The technological advancements and how to facilitate its use during the continued pandemic is invaluable.” — Denise
  • “Case Studies explained from end-users’ perspectives, together with their practical experiences of using Iris recognition technology.” — Gorazd
  • “I knew nothing about IRIS recognition so I found the webinar very informative and interesting.” — Karen


Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Iris Recognition in Law Enforcement. Q&A with the Presenters
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