Orlando police end facial recognition testing

City has no immediate plans to explore facial recognition tech

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(David Ryder/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Police Department has ceased testing facial recognition software using city cameras as part of an Amazon Web Services pilot program. 

The program ended Thursday as planned, according to officials. 

The Amazon Rekognition software has been in testing in Orlando since December 2017.

The Orlando Police Department saw potential in this technology in order to increase public safety. The objective was to determine whether this technology would reliably allow authorities to locate specific identifiable dangerous threats as they walk around the city, allowing officials to close in on possible targets.

[RELATED: Orlando to continue testing Amazon facial recognition software]

The first stage of the pilot program used current city equipment and did not cost anything, but Police Department officials say they need more testing to decide whether the city should adopt the facial recognition program permanently.

A memo sent to Mayor Buddy Dyer said, "At this time, the city was not able to dedicate the resources to the pilot to enable us to make any noticeable progress toward completing the needed configuration and testing."

The city of Orlando has no immediate plans for future pilots to explore this type of facial recognition technology and said it will continue its efforts to position the city to take advantage of advances as they emerge.

"Together, the Orlando Police Department and Information Technology Department will continue to work toward identifying emerging technologies that can be utilized to enhance public safety," the memo said.

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