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Wisconsin Law Enforcement Agencies Gain Crime Suspect Identification Technology

Software creates fast, accurate composite sketches of police suspects to help in arrests.

by / April 6, 2004
OSHKOSH, Wis. -- Wisconsin law enforcement agencies recently received training in technology to identify, track and apprehend criminals. Investigators from a dozen Wisconsin agencies participated in advanced training in FACES from IQ Biometrix. They also learned witness interview techniques to develop accurate composites and review legal issues around use of composite evidence.

The FACES system allows photo-like images of suspects to be created on a computer by selecting from a database of 4,400 facial features, hair styles, hats, scars and tattoos. This allows police officers to create a composite regardless of their artistic skills or experience. It allows composites to be developed without the cost or delay of using a professional sketch artist.

The software's composites can be used in police bulletins to alert the public and media. They can also be instantly transmitted between police stations and patrol cars, or between different jurisdictions to widen the search for suspects.

The training was sponsored by the Oshkosh Police Department and was delivered by CTS Associates.

"Our detectives have a particularly tough challenge when a crime has been committed by an unknown perpetrator," said Sergeant Don Wilson of Oshkosh Police Department. "With the FACES system, detectives can quickly develop composite images during their witness interviews and use the composite to get a positive identification that can lead to an arrest."

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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