Police departments who have used Faces LE, one of the most popular facial recognition imaging systems in the U.S., have stated that it’s been a vital component to crime investigation and crime solving. It’s also an affordable alternative to sketch artists who may be unavailable or cost prohibitive for smaller police departments.
Computer generated imaging creates a “facial composite” that is a graphical representation of an eyewitness’s memory of a face. When resources permit, a composite artist, or sketch artist, is called upon when serious crimes are being investigated. In the U.S., the FBI maintains that hand-drawing is still the correct method for constructing a facial composite.
Many police agencies, however, use facial recognition software, since developed artistic talent is often not available.
Construction of a facial composite was originally performed by a trained artist, through drawing, sketching or painting, in consultation with a witness or crime victim. But due to limited financial resources and the availability of trained sketch artists, many in law enforcement have turned to computer generated composite software, such as Faces 4.0 LE.
Facial Composite Software Solves Armed Robbery Crime in Titusville, FL
From June 2007 through September 2007 there were a string of armed robberies of local, cash advance type businesses in Titusville, FL, according to Warren Van Vuren, Criminal Investigations Section, Titusville Police Department. FACES LE, the police image enhancement software, was instrumental in solving the crime.
The suspect was described as being a medium build, medium height, black male in his mid-twenties. Even with the store surveillance videos, the investigation was hampered due to the limitations of eye witness testimony.
Eventually, a store employee came forward indicating confidence in making a positive identification because the victim had seen the suspects face clearly. When the victim was shown several photographic line-ups, the individual could not identify a suspect positively. This continued, line-up after line-up, to the frustration of the investigators.
A police officer sat down with the victim and the FACES LE forensic software and created the suspect composite. He placed the facial composite immediately into an intelligence bulletin. It was also distributed to officers within the department and surrounding agencies.
A detective within the department noticed a strong resemblance between the facial composite and a suspect in a grand theft auto case. With another suspect’s picture to view, the victim of the cash advance armed robbery identified him immediately when now placed in a new, photographic line-up.
The suspect was arrested and convicted of armed robbery due to the accuracy of the facial recognition software developed and published by FacesID, also known as IQ Biometrix, Inc.
“The FACES software was an obvious and vital piece of this investigation. I would even say if it had not been for FACES and the victim’s excellent memory, we may have never linked this particular suspect to these crimes,” said Warren Van Vuren.
“The software is easy to use and, for agencies like ours, extremely affordable. With the lack of availability of actual sketch artists, this software has become an intricate part of our investigative unit.”