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Sheriff’s iris-scanning system should be operational by April 24

April 11, 2017 GMT

The border sheriff’s departments of Cameron and El Paso counties will be the first to get their hands on “biometric” identification technology, in a partnership approved by the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition at an April 3 meeting in Austin.

Following a presentation by BI2 Technologies President Sean Mullin, the SBSC’s membership voted unanimously for the deal to equip all 31 U.S. sheriff’s departments along the U.S.-Mexico border with technology that combines iris-scanning with fingerprint- and facial-recognition capabilities, with the goal of increasing border security and weeding out criminals.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said he was impressed by Mullin’s presentation and jumped at the chance to implement Massachusetts-based BI2’s IRIS technology on a pilot basis. He said the system will be installed at department headquarters and used in the intake/booking process, and may eventually be used in the field with handheld scanning devices.

The system will give the department instant access to national, state and local law-enforcement and criminal-justice databases. Lucio said it’s not unusual for people caught entering the United States illegally from Mexico to give fake names and dates of birth. Once they’re in the IRIS system, however, they won’t be able to conceal their true identities or arrest histories, he said.

“Once we scan them I don’t care what name they give you, we’re going to find out if they have an arrest record and when and where they were arrested,” Lucio said. “It’s just a great tool for law enforcement. It really helps in the long run. We’re really excited about it and looking forward to start working with it.”

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

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