For 2018 Women in Biometrics Award winner Kelly Gallagher, there’s nothing like solving a case. “In the early years when I was a crime scene tech, I would get so excited when I knew I made an identification and I was able to help that family or even company solve their crime,” Gallagher says. “My heart would be pounding actually because I was so excited.”
Gallagher has logged more than 30 years in law enforcement. She’s been an Identification Technician, a Latent Technician, and a Forensic Specialist. She has a long list of FBI certifications including Pattern Recognition, Advanced Palm Print Identification, and Project Management. She is an expert in Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) processes and organizes the annual AFIS Internet Users Conference.
Gallagher is now a Senior Account Manager at NEC Corporation of America, a security and biometric solutions provider, where her career began right after she got her criminal justice degree.
“They started taking the fingerprint cards from our clients and converting them into matching algorithms for searching capability,” Gallagher says. “During that time our first system that was implemented in California hit on the East Side Rapist case. So biometrics from the very beginning had piqued my interest.”
During that time our first system that was implemented in California hit on the East Side Rapist case. So biometrics from the very beginning had piqued my interest
That led Gallagher to spend more than nine years as a crime scene tech to “see how the actual work is done.” She says that experience set the stage for her future success in biometrics, especially as a trainer for NEC and a product specialist.
Gallagher’s proudest accomplishment:
“I feel that my law enforcement background has really helped me understand the needs of my customers and better help them find the right tools that they need to identify people and solve more cases. I feel that the collaboration between me and the customers makes better products for them to utilize — not just for that one particular customer but for all customers. They benefit from that collaboration.”
Gallagher recently led the switchover at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to a new multimodal biometric identification system. In all, the solution serves nearly four dozen law enforcement agencies in L.A. County. The new system resulted in 107 matches of open cases with known offenders, including two cold case homicides, within the first week.
Gallagher and four other winners will be honored with the Women in Biometrics Awards on November 14th in New York City. The Security Industry Association will join SecureIDNews to present the awards during one of the security industry’s most prestigious events, SIA Honors Night.