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Virgin Islands police to use license plate readers, facial recognition system

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement

The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) will implement a new technology infrastructure which will include the use of license plate readers and facial recognition systems, according to a report by The Virgin Islands Consortium.

Several VIPD officers recently returned from New York with new equipment provided by the New York Police Department (NYPD), and are set to return to the ‘Big Apple’ for training in August.

Governor Kenneth Mapp, formerly a police officer at the New York City Police Department, has been fostering a strong relationship with the NYPD, with several police officers within various units of the VIPD undergoing training at the New York Police Academy.

Next month, Mapp will host the NYPD commissioner, where he will explain the relationship between the two departments to Virgin Islands residents.

The two will talk about various initiatives between the departments, how the NYPD will continue to help strengthen the VIPD’s capacity and ensuring that training and professional development continue.

Mapp said the overall goal of the initiatives is to create a “full fledged modern police department.”

The modernization will implement a new technology infrastructure that will include the use of license plate readers and facial recognition systems.

The governor said the police department would “try to ensure that [they] keep track of folks who are committing crime in the Virgin Islands, and ensuring that they are brought to justice in a rapid way,” but did not provide a timeline for the roll out.

“Chief McFarland will assume all operational command of all of the islands and districts in the Virgin Islands,” Mapp said.

Earlier this year, Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology (CPT) filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for allegedly failing to reveal information about its covert facial recognition program.

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