Facial recognition technology aids HPD - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Facial recognition technology aids HPD

Honolulu Police Department vehicles (file image) Honolulu Police Department vehicles (file image)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

One of the keys for any successful criminal investigation is eyewitness identification. While the human eye is the most trusted, it's not always the most accurate. Now, the camera eye is part of the Honolulu Police Department's arsenal.

HPD has been using MorphoFace Investigate for a year. The facial recognition computing system has been so successful, the other counties have recently adopted it.

"It's worked excellent for the dept. We've used it in 95 cases in the past year. We've got feedback in about 20 cases that a positive ID was made, through the facial recognition system," explained Sergeant Kelley Yamauchi.

That's 20 suspects who may have otherwise gotten away. Not only is the system effective, it's also efficient.

"It saves a lot of time for the detectives, versus they have a picture of an unknown person, relying on officers on the street to identify the person."

Morphoface Investigate uses algorithms to data map a subject's face. When an image is captured of a person of interest - by camera or cell phone, for example - it can be cross-checked against a bank of criminal mugshots.

While it's a great aid to the police, it's NOT a replacement for them.

"You still need good detectives out there, because this is just another tool in their arsenal like fingerprints, DNA, the more tools we can provide to the investigators, the better they can solve the crimes," said Sgt. Yamauchi.

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