An advanced THALES COGENT ABIS (Automated Biometric Identification System) is playing a pivotal role in the work of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).
In this video, leading figures at one of the largest police departments in the United States explain how this comprehensive biometric identification solution is helping to enhance public safety in an iconic Californian community.
SFPD: San Francisco Police Department
Founded in the days of the mid-nineteenth century Gold Rush, the SFPD serves a city located on a peninsula that lies between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. For many, it epitomizes the American Dream.
However, the city is also a densely populated home to nearly 900,000 residents and faces law and order challenges common to virtually every major urban environment in the developed world.
SFPD is organized into six bureaus (Administration, Airport, Field Operations, Investigations, Municipal Transportation Authority, Public Utilities Commission) and two divisions (Golden Gate and Metro) with 2,108 officers as of early 2016.
Back in the early 1980s, San Francisco pioneered the use of the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System), along with an equally revolutionary 'crime scene to courtroom' strategy for bringing more offenders to justice.
Notably, this included the creation of dedicated Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) units, specializing exclusively in the recovery and analysis of forensic data.
The dramatic results achieved by local law enforcement agencies over 30 years ago served to vindicate the use of the newly developed AFIS.
It became a must-have for large jurisdictions across the United States.
By the end of the century, hundreds of such systems were operating around the globe.
As this video demonstrates, the SFPD remains passionate about the value of advanced identification technology. Equally, it highlights just how much progress has been made since the arrival of the first generation AFIS.
Single-mindedly geared towards public safety.
According to Gordon Brussow, ABIS/Identification Manager with the SFPD, the Cogent ABIS deployed by the department delivers a step-change in the breadth and depth of personal detail that can be recovered, stored and searched:
"It captures the palms, the fingerprints, the demographics and the photograph at the time of booking, and puts it all in one package."
Similarly impressive is the speed with which potential matches can be found, with Cogent's Automated Biometric Identification System linking to numerous state and federal databases.
Inspector Ronan Shouldice, a 20 year veteran of San Francisco CSI, describes their work with equal enthusiasm: "I love this stuff. There's nothing better than identifying a previously unknown fingerprint."
His words will no doubt ring true with many viewers. That's because, ultimately, the stars of this particular story are not the technological tools, but the committed law enforcement and forensic specialists that put them to work in pursuit of a safer society.
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