DAYTONA BEACH —
Imagine cameras at every corner of the city which can spot a suspect minutes after the crime is committed and let police take the image, match it with a database and make the arrest.
Although it may sound like something out of a crime fighting series on TV, it’s actually coming to life in Daytona Beach.
But the ACLU believes civil rights could be violated.
It is the latest crime fighting tool for Daytona Beach police.
It’s called Facial Recognition software and takes the image of a suspect, runs it through a multi-county databank and searches for a match.
Before this technology, police relied on pictures or surveillance video.
“We’ve captured the crime on tape and we put it out there and we put a reward, but nobody calls. This is a tool that we can use when nobody knows who this person is,” explained Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.
Daytona Beach has cameras strategically placed throughout the city, including intersections and parks.
The chief wants to take all the information from all those cameras to fight crime.
The problem is those cameras have to get a perfect high resolution picture. The better the resolution, the higher the chances are of finding a match.
“Cause unfortunately, most criminals don’t look directly into cameras,” added criminal investigator Jackie Flory.
“I’m just very leery about the kind of level of privacy that we’re insured,” said ACLU representative Reinhold Schlieper.
The American Civil Liberties Union believes your picture, taken in a park or at an intersection may violate your privacy.
“That is once a police department has published anything, than anybody else in the name of the free press would be having access to that as well,” said Reinhold.
Police argue the match is only of people who already committed crimes, not innocent civilians, or even first-time offenders.
“If you didn’t commit a crime you got nothing to hide, who cares. You can search me up and down, you can take pictures of my image, you can do whatever you want to do. I don’t care. It’s more important that I see the person that’s committed that crime gets arrested,” said Chief Chitwood.
Chitwood hopes the new tool will take suspects off the streets sooner, rather than later.
Facial recognition has been in use in Daytona Beach for less than a year.
They already have one conviction using this technology under their belts.
Via CF News 13
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