MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County’s jail has implemented technology to scan inmates’ eyes.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/2ruYTL1 ) that when inmates are booked into the jail, they have their irises scanned in addition to having their fingerprints taken. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office is the first agency in Wisconsin to start using the technology.

Commander Aaron Dobson said the scans help jail workers confirm the identity of people taken into custody and track them while they’re in law enforcement custody. Dobson notes that no two people have the same iris.

“Even if they leave for court and are coming back in an hour, we make sure and do an iris scan to make sure we’re sending the right person to court,” Dobson said.

The scanners are about the size of a digital camera. The machines are hooked up to a computer that checks the image against a national database. If the image of an inmate’s iris matches one in the system, information about the individual, including a photo, will be available in about 20 seconds.

BI2 Technologies supplies the scanning devices and manages the database.

Milwaukee County plans to equip patrol cars with the iris-scanning cameras, Dobson said.

“There are approximately 150 other agencies in the country that are using this system and using it successfully. There are close to a million irises already in the registry — people in the registry — and that’s growing as we speak,” he said.


Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org

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