Facial Recognition To Aid Investigations

Starting this month, the Calgary Police Service will become the first police agency in Canada to use facial recognition software as a screening tool for investigations and arrestee intake procedures.

Following a year of rigorous research, review and evaluation of facial recognition based criminal identification systems and processes, the Service entered into a contract with NEC Corporation of America for their NeoFace® Reveal facial recognition solution.

Similar to our current fingerprint capture and search database, we will use this new technology as an investigative tool to compare photos and videos, such as CCTV images of persons of interest, with the current CPS mugshot database of approximately 300,000 images taken under the Identification of Criminals Act.

“Facial recognition software is yet another tool for our investigators to assist in providing leads to identify potential persons of interest in criminal investigations,” says Insp. Rosemary Hawkins. “Similar to fingerprint and DNA evidence capture at scenes, facial recognition will create efficiencies by providing more viable leads for investigators.”

Facial recognition technology utilizes a complex mathematical algorithm of pattern recognition to quickly screen a database of photos for potential matches.  These matches are analyzed by trained technicians who will then pass any potential matches to the investigators for further follow up.  Officers will use appropriate investigative techniques to confirm all potential matches prior to acting on the information provided by facial recognition.

The system will also be used to help identify arrestees when they are being booked into the Court Services Section to help reduce the time and resources required when officers are provided with fraudulent self-identification.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Calgary Police Service and deliver the proven performance of our NeoFace solution,” said Raffie Beroukhim, vice president, NEC Biometrics Solutions Division. “Our NeoFace Reveal system is an integral part of NEC’s Safer Cities platform. We are confident that our NeoFace solution will enable CPS to solve even more crimes in a timelier manner and better serve Calgary’s public safety and security needs.”