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Integrated Biometrics’ fingerprint scanner accelerates victim identification for French forensics team



A French law enforcement agency says the biometric matching speed afforded by the Watson Mini biometric fingerprint scanners from Integrated Biometrics helps meet the expectations of families and authorities for identifying victims of disasters and terrorist attacks.

The Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale (IRCGN) operates the Disaster Victim Identification Squad (DVI), which selected IB’s Watson Mini fingerprint scanner for identifying victims of natural disasters, aircraft crashes, traffic accidents, and terrorist attacks last year.

The DVI team chose the Watson Mini following extensive testing of different biometric identity verification products and technologies for accuracy, reliability and durability, which determined that only Integrated Biometrics’ device met the criteria.

“The IRCGN’s ‘Fingerprints’ service is regularly involved in victim identification missions (DVI), in a wide variety of contexts, including natural disasters, aircraft crashes but also terrorist attacks,” said Major Laurent Tamisier of the DVI team. “The identification of victims is a major issue and must be done as quickly as possible to meet the legitimate expectations of families and authorities. The evolution of traditional post-mortem fingerprinting methods towards a biometric capture system allows us to meet this strong demand for rapid and reliable identification.”

The IRGCN wrote a report published in the Journal of Forensic Identification praising IB’s Light Emitting Sensor (LES) film, and showing high-quality fingerprint matches are returned four to twelve times faster with the new scanner than legacy methods.

“Traditional, optical, capacitive, or ultrasonic sensors were discarded because their ergonomics and their low efficiency on soiled fingers did not fit with use on postmortem chain of identification,” the report says.

“It is absolutely essential for us to use devices that can deliver high quality images quickly and do so in all types of conditions,” adds Major Tamisier. “By responding to all of these requirements, the Watson Mini has earned its place in our DVI toolkit.”

“In the aftermath of these kinds of heartbreaking events, victim identification is the first and highest priority, both for the needs of the families and the investigators,” observes Integrated Biometrics Executive Vice President David Gerulski. “This report offers all of us at IB a real feeling of accomplishment, as it demonstrates the ways our technology enables professionals to do such grievous work under extraordinarily challenging conditions.”

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