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SBSC votes to expand biometric identification capabilities of Sheriffs’ Offices along southwestern border


The Southwestern Border Sheriffs’ Coalition (SBSC) voted at its annual meeting on April 3 to partner with BI2 Technologies to expand its biometric identification program and system.

BI2 Technologies will work with SBSC to improve and expand biometric identification capabilities at 31 Sheriffs’ Offices along the U.S. and Mexico border to ultimately increase border security and combat criminal activity.

SBSC — which is an IRS certified 501 charitable organization whose mission is to insure the safety and security of the country’s Southwestern border by assisting elected Sheriffs — has provided initial funding to immediately expand the capabilities while seeking additional federal funds.

BI2 is providing the system free to the Cameron County and El Paso County sheriff’s departments for three years. In addition, SBSC is seeking federal funds to cover the complete rollout, with each device costing $2,500 each year.

Following a presentation by BI2 Technologies president Sean G. Mullin, SBSC members voted unanimously for BI2 to provide all 31 U.S. sheriff’s departments along the U.S.-Mexico border with technology that combines iris-scanning with fingerprint- and facial-recognition capabilities.

“The SBSC will implement our advanced iris biometric identification technologies at Sheriff’s Offices, as well as in-the-field mobile, smartphone-based, multi-modal (iris, fingerprint and facial biometric identification) devices,” Mullin said. “These technologies will provide each Sheriff with immediate access to national, state and local criminal justice and law enforcement databases. This will enable Sheriff’s staff to positively identify previously enrolled individuals in seconds, regardless of the often fraudulent identity presented.”

Impressed by the presentation, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said he was happy to implement BI2’s technology on a pilot basis.

Lucio said that the system, which is compatible with the records-management systems used by most sheriff’s departments, will be installed and operational in the first two counties by April 24.

He added that the system will be used in the intake/booking process, along with potential plans to use it in the field with handheld scanning devices.

The biometric identification system will provide the department with immediate access to national, state and local law-enforcement and criminal-justice databases.

“I don’t think we can go wrong with that technology. It’s just an additional tool to keep our communities safe,” Lawrence “Larry” Guerra, executive director of the SBSC, said. “The 31 Sheriffs who comprise the SBSC are literally the front-line of defense against criminal activity along the southwest U.S. border with Mexico.”

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