The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Texas will be utilizing iris scanning technology to identify individuals in lieu of the standard fingerprints more commonly used thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Sheriff’s Association, according to an Examiner article. The El Paso office is among the first 45 in the nation to be using the iris system, which connects to a nationwide network and registry to connect an individual’s iris to their identity.
Among the registries and databases being connected to the new iris systems are the Child Project, the Senior Safety Net, the Inmate Recognition and Identification System and the Sex Offender Registry and Identification System. While some of these databases have required participation due to criminal activity, others, such as the Child Project and Senior Safety Net, involve voluntary registration in the case of a missing child or senior citizen so that they may be properly identified and returned to their residence without harm.
The technology itself uses 235 unique points on the iris to distinguish one person from another. Additionally, iris-scanning is purported to be 12 times as accurate as fingerprint scanning. Sheriff Richard Wiles of El Paso County is reportedly looking forward to the technologies implementation citing that he sees it as the future of law enforcement and his expectation to have mobile scanners outfitted in squad cars in the coming years.
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