WFPD expected to use facial recognition software

Wichita Falls Police Work A Crime Scene
Wichita Falls Police Work A Crime Scene

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - New facial recognition technology is expected to be on the way to the Wichita Falls Police Department in the very near future.

In February the city applied for a $59,000 Homeland Security Grant and have now been awarded it.

It's becoming more popular with police departments across the country. That's why the department wanted the city to apply for the grant, to keep up with other agencies.

Many cases sit unsolved with the Wichita Falls P.D. Investigators are hoping new facial recognition software helps solve some of them. When the city applied for the grant, Police Chief Manuel Borrego told Newschannel 6 that was their goal.

"We've got to get better with trying to clear some cases, getting some people identified, and bringing justice to our victims," he said.

Facial recognition software can be used to scan old mug shots, pick suspects from lineups, and databases. It's something the FBI continues to rely on more and more.

They use the Interstate Photosystem, also known as the IPS. The system searches criminal photos and generates leads for authorized agencies.

It's all part of their Next Generation Identification.

Chief Borrego said facial recognition is an evolving technology and the biggest reason he wants it in Wichita Falls is for the protection of the citizens.

Even though facial recognition is a large part of the next generation of technology and some police departments are using, they said it's another tool in the belt that will be used along with time-proven methods like fingerprints and physical markings.

On Tuesday, city council is expected to accept the grant. In February city councilors voted unanimously to apply for the federal money.

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