Volusia sheriff answers questions on deputies using facial recognition technology

Sheriff Chitwood said a facial recognition search serves as an investigative lead only

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Investigators said facial recognition technology has helped the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office generate leads in about 30 cases and Sheriff Mike Chitwood addressed community concerns about the software.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the Sheriff’s Office bought Clearview AI in January and purchased a 1-year license.

He said the technology compares submitted photographs against a database of publicly visible photographs from a wide range of sources across the internet.

You might have heard about facial recognition technology that some law enforcement agencies are using to help identify...

Posted by Mike Chitwood on Friday, January 31, 2020

“It’s important to know the result of facial recognition search serves as an investigative lead only,” Sheriff Chitwood said on Facebook.

The sheriff said you can’t just get a match on facial recognition and arrest the suspect.

Once the Sheriff’s Office has a lead, Sheriff Chitwood said investigators will have to gather other evidence to provide probable cause to make an arrest.

“We have much better chances of identifying unknown suspects when we add this tool to everything else we do, from law enforcement bulletins, to social media posts, to news releases,” Sheriff Chitwood said.

Sheriff Chitwood said after a year of using the technology, investigators will review the program and make a decision if the department should keep using the software.

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