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California Sheriff's Department Expands Facial Recognition Program to 500 Officers

May 19, 2016  | 

Photo: Vigilant Solutions
Photo: Vigilant Solutions

Vigilant Solutions announced today that the Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department is expanding the use of its FaceSearch facial recognition solution to approximately 500 agency users based on its success over the past year in a pilot operation.

"We are deploying facial recognition to approximately 500 officers here at Sacramento County Sheriff's Department," states Sergeant Kyle Hoertsch. "Over the past year we have made as many as 35 criminal identifications resulting from its use. Two notable cases are the identification of a cold case homicide suspect on the first day of use, and the identification of another individual on a routine traffic stop. The gentleman was covered in prison tattoos, did not have a valid ID, and the name he provided to us included the name of a famous actor as the middle and last names. Upon taking his photo using the mobile app, we were returned a list of possible matches within about two seconds. Upon review of the possible matches, the officer on patrol was able to visually confirm that the gentleman was indeed the same person seen in a 2006 booking photo out of Ohio."

Sergeant Hoertsch continues, "One thing that we like about the system is that it doesn't consider skin tone in providing the possible matches. Unless the race is known and you enter it as a parameter into the search, the system will return possible matches based solely on the measurements of the face. It attempts to match these measurements against criminal image databases such as mugshots, registered sex offenders, and other sources like this; we are not comparing against non-criminal databases such as driver's license photographs. It's also important to note that the results returned by the system are possible matches only. It is only through officer review and evaluation of all of the available information that a positive identification can be made."

Roger Rodriguez, Manager of Image Analytics for Vigilant Solutions and world-renowned facial recognition expert, comments, "Having been to Sacramento County and met Sergeant Hoertsch, I see a lot of positive momentum in their facial recognition program. There are some definite parallels to what I encountered in creating the facial recognition unit within the NYPD's Real-Time Crime Center – redefining expectations from Hollywood's depiction of the technology, helping users understand how to make use of less-than-ideal suspect images, and many more. Sergeant Hoertsch and his team certainly understand these issues and are showing real results in leveraging the system to improve the agency's ability in making criminal identifications. He and his team are doing a great job, and we wish them well in their expansion."

About Vigilant Solutions

Based in Livermore, CA, Vigilant Solutions develops intelligence solutions to help law enforcement protect officers, families, and communities. For additional information, visit

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

SES @ 5/19/2016 9:51 AM

Great technology.

SES @ 5/19/2016 6:09 PM

Why would I bother to do that? You can find all the info you want, the same way I did. Research it.

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