ELECTION: Surrey mayoral candidate wants police to use facial recognition technology to solve crimes

SURREY— Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner wants the city to follow Calgary’s example and have the police use facial recognition technology to help solve crimes.

Calgary police are now using a program called NeoFace, which takes photos and videos of persons of interest and compares them with the Calgary police mug shot database of about 300,000 images.

Hepner said if elected she would talk with local RCMP and Calgary officials to see how the technology could work for Surrey.

“Putting facial recognition technology to work will help police do their job even faster, and that’s an important part of proactive policing,” she said, in a statement on Tuesday.

The program uses a complex mathematical algorithm of pattern recognition to quickly screen photos for potential matches. It will also be used to help identify people after their arrest in order to reduce the time and resources needed when officers are given fraudulent self-identification.

The software was developed by NEC Corp. of America. Company spokesman Keith Raderschadt says several U.S. agencies with large databases use NeoFace, with some reporting more than 1,000 confirmed cold-case hits.

Calgary police say they’re the first law-enforcement service in Canada to use the software.


with a file from The Canadian Press


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