Chicago Agencies Get Suspect ID Technology

Law enforcement software creates composite sketches of suspects for faster distribution.

by / December 5, 2003
CHICAGO -- Chicago area law enforcement has chosen a system that creates computer-generated composite drawings from a selection of facial features, hair styles, hats, scars and tattoos, among other identifying characteristics of a suspect to help track, identify and apprehend criminals.

These composites can be quickly distributed within the law enforcement community in hard copies or a series of numbers, which correspond to the number of the selected features of the suspect.

This training and technology is being provided by 7-Eleven Inc. and Cook County Crime Stoppers, in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Cook County Crime Stoppers brings together citizens, law enforcement agencies, businesses and the media to fight felony-level crime. It encourages people to anonymously report tips on crime, and Crime Stoppers gets these tips to the proper law enforcement agency for action. Crime Stoppers has programs to combat illegal gun possession and use, domestic violence, fraud, illegal drug and gang activity, auto theft, campus violence and felony-level animal abuse, among others.

"Investigators have a tough challenge when a crime has been committed by an unknown perpetrator," said Lorenzo Clemons, director of Intergovernmental Relations for the Cook County Sheriff. "With this project, police can develop computerized composite images, distribute these images through police bulletins and public alerts, and get a positive identification that can lead to an arrest."

Some Chicago area police agencies that will participate in the training include Cook County Sheriff and Police Department, Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police, AMTRAK Police and the police departments of Evanston, Riverdale, Orland Park, Oak Park, Bellwood and Harvey. A similar training/technology project is being implemented in the greater Boston area.

The training is being delivered by CTS Associates, and participants will receive FACES composite software from IQ Biometrix.
Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor