Pilot Program to kick off in Phoenix/Appleton in August-September 2022, with a focus on fundamentals, including understanding data and data privacy, creating case-use guidelines for facial recognition, ensuring accountability, and preventing bias.
PHOENIX/APPLETON, March 21, 2022: On Monday, the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) of Fox Valley Technical College, one of the nation’s leading training providers for law enforcement and criminal justice professionals, announced an innovative partnership with Biometrica Systems, Inc., a big data and software company focused on public safety, risk mitigation, and child protection, to build and pilot an industry first foundational course to train law enforcement in the understanding and ethical use of big data and facial recognition for critical investigations.
NCJTC Executive Director Bradley Russ stated that for almost 30 years, the Center had a core mission: “To deliver quality innovative training, expert instruction, and technical assistance solutions for combating prevailing public safety and community challenges.”
“Two such major challenges today,” he added, “are to strengthen trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, while also leveraging technology in an ethical and responsible manner to enhance investigative capabilities and better protect the citizens they serve. This partnership combines our expertise in training and Biometrica’s expertise in using big data and facial recognition in support of public safety to build this new course.”
Biometrica CEO Wyly Wade said the partnership was a natural collaboration for the organization. “We work on big data, use facial recognition, and see the tremendous good it can do, especially in the world of child safety or vulnerable adult protection, if used correctly. But the use of any technology by untrained practitioners, without accountability and guidelines, could have terrible consequences, even if unintended.” He said Biometrica hoped to help prevent this.
“The mistrust isn’t just between law enforcement and communities, especially those of color, it’s also between tech companies and everyone else. We’re not big tech. We’re small tech. But we wanted to try and rebuild some of that trust by working with NCJTC, who are outstanding at what they do, by helping them train law enforcement in using big data and FR, establish ethical use protocols around the use of the technology, and make a start toward positive change.”
Russ, a former police chief himself, added, “This technology offers great promise to assist with investigations of all kinds, including crimes related to missing, exploited and abused children. But it requires training and guidelines. You don’t give an officer a firearm without proper training, reinforced by use-of-force policies that define acceptable use under a range of circumstances. It should work the same way with technology-based tools and information. Give them the tools they need to improve their investigative capabilities in a tech-dominated world, but after they have been properly trained in the proper use of those tools.”
For more than a quarter century, the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC.org) of Fox Valley Technical College (http://www.fvtc.edu), has served as a national leader offering training and technical assistance to professionals and organizations in the law enforcement and criminal justice fields. Many of their training programs are offered through grants and cooperative agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Biometrica Systems, Inc. (https://www.biometrica.com/) is a software & data company focused on public safety. They support federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement, organizations focused on child and vulnerable adult protection, and private sector safety teams. They are a PBSA associate member, committed to building better quality arrest and conviction data, in and more transparent access to it.
Private Investigator License # 1295 [Nevada PILB]