Posted: Oct 10, 2012 12:07 PM
Updated: Oct 10, 2012 12:07 PM
Source: St. Tammany Sheriff's Office
COVINGTON - The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office unveiled new devices and software that will be used to identify and confirm sex offenders throughout the parish.
The sheriff's office installed iris scanning devices in its sex offender registry office and in the St. Tammany Parish Jail. Mobile devices are also being put into service in the field.
The devices provide positive identification of individuals through electronic analysis of the person's iris. During an initial baseline scan, high resolution cameras capture short videos of the eyeball, then process that video to extract certain identifiable characteristics, which are then stored in a national database. After the baseline scan has been captured, that person's identity can be verified in near real-time during subsequent scans.
Irises, like fingerprints, are unique to an individual. Unlike fingerprint identification, this new technology provides a much faster (virtually instantaneous) method of establishing positive identification.
Currently, every person booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail undergoes an iris scan. If the individual is not already in the database, this serves as their baseline scan. If they were previously scanned, this acts as another facet of our identification protocol during the booking process. Iris scanning has also been made an integral part of the release process, ensuring that the inmate being released from jail is the correct person.
The sheriff's office is currently the only law enforcements agency in the state to use the technology.