The Chino Police Department will discuss its upcoming use of facial recognition software to assist in identifying possible suspects during criminal investigations and identify people who are unable to identify themselves.

The forum will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Chino Police Department, 5450 Guardian Way, one block north of Walnut and a block west of Benson Avenue. 

“The department will address privacy issues, discuss policy and seek feedback on the use of facial recognition technology,” said Sgt. Dustin Tomicic. “The facial recognition software the department is interested in using was built specifically for public safety and will not be used with the department’s on-officer camera system.”

He said only jail booking photos will be used because the software program is built to match a person’s facial features from those photos. 

“Facial recognition software is very useful in narrowing down a possible suspect lead in an investigation when an image of the suspect is obtained, but their identity is unknown,” Sgt. Tomicic said.

The software will also assist in investigations where persons can’t identify themselves because they are incapacitated, deceased, missing or an at-risk person, the sergeant said.

“The software will then provide the investigator with potential matches, providing investigative leads only,” Sgt. Tomicic said. “Investigators will then need to conduct additional follow up, using other investigative resources to determine the validity and accuracy of the lead.”

He added the software will only be used as any other investigative lead, and not used as probable cause for arrest.

Several area law enforcement agencies have used facial recognition software for many years, helping solve criminal cases that have gone cold.

 “It is anticipated once the facial recognition software has been implemented in Chino, we will also see a similar benefit,” Sgt. Tomicic said.

Residents can call Sgt. Tomicic at 334-3115 or email him at dtomicic@chinopd.org to ask questions or express any concerns about the software.

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