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California cops sign contract to begin using massive biometric database


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California cops sign contract to begin using massive biometric database

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – the fourth largest local policing agency in the United States – has taken another step towards building the biggest biometric database outside of the FBI’s by inking a new $24 million contract.

NEC Corporation of America – a Texas-based IT firm that provides biometric services to commercial entities, law enforcement groups, and governments around the globe – announced on Monday that it’s been awarded a multi-year contract by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to provide the agency with specialized, state-of-the-art policing services, including high-tech facial recognition software.

Previously published paperwork out of the LA County Board of Supervisors reveals that the Sheriff’s Department requested approval last year for a $24.4 million contract with NEC that would provide the agency – the largest sheriff’s department in the US – with biometric identification services for six years. The board authorized that request in December, setting the stage for NEC to soon provide area law enforcement with a new toolkit with regards to investigating criminal activity and tracking down suspects within a jurisdiction that includes roughly 2.6 million residents.

According to a statement put up by NEC Corp. this week, the deal will allow the LA Sheriff’s Department to access fingerprint, palmprint, face, voice, iris and DNA matching capabilities offered through the company’s Integra ID 5 Multimodal Biometrics Identification Solution (MBIS), as well as the NeoFace program touted by NEC being the “most accurate facial matching product” available in the world.

“NEC’s experience in offering such solutions, their leading fingerprint and facial recognition technology and their ability to meet our business continuity and disaster recovery requirements, all under a flat monthly fee, were among key advantages of the NEC offering,” Lt. Josh Thai of the LASD said in a statement explaining the agency’s decision to offer the contract.

Read More: California cops sign contract to begin using massive biometric database