The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched Increment three of its Next Generation Identification (NGI) program, which features improved search accuracy for latent fingerprints and adds a nationwide palm print identification system. Lockheed Martin provided the technology behind these added features.
These improvements are part of the FBI’s plan to phase in upgrades to its biometric identification services designed for use by law enforcement agencies to help identify suspects and solve cases. The agency introduced the NGI system last year as a way to search for biometric information across databases to help government agencies at national and state levels to find criminals. It started with pilot programs in a few states and in August expanded to include nationwide facial recognition. In September it had a more complete launch, covering fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scanning, DNA analysis and voice identification. Earlier enhancements to NGI increased capacity and reduced response times.
These new upgrades include more powerful matching algorithms for latent fingerprint matches, increasing NGI’s matching capabilities threefold. Morpho developed the algorithms, and its U.S. subsidiary MorphoTrak supplied them.
The National Palm Print System has been added to NGI, which now gives agencies the ability to match and identify suspects by their palm print. Latent palm prints make up about one-third of all latent prints.
Other upgrades to NGI Increment three include increased search functionality. Another MorphoTrak product adds case management capabilities to the system to increase the efficiency of records management. This product combined with the Lockheed Martin software and Morpho search algorithms enables processing of all hand friction ridge areas and prints on file from different arrest cycles.
The FBI has been piloting this system and hopes to add more capabilities and enhancements over the coming year. The system is on schedule to be fully functional by 2014. MOre than 18,000 local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies nationwide may tap into NGI.