Oregon City Selects Mobile, Real-Time Identification Network

Portland Police Bureau begins deployment of IBIS backend system and handheld remote data terminals.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland, Ore., Police Bureau has chosen the Integrated Biometric Identification System (IBIS) to enable each of its five precincts to capture forensic-quality fingerprint images and photographs in the field for real-time, on-the-spot identification.

Under the initial deployment, the bureau will set up backend IBIS infrastructure to enable submission and transmission of rapid real-time identification from the field. Additionally, Portland will distribute a small number of IBIS handheld portable devices, called Remote Data Terminals (RDT), to each of the five precincts, which include investigative offices in the detective, gang enforcement, drugs and vice, and tactical operations divisions.

"IBIS speeds up the process for the officer to confirm who they've stopped, and reduces mistaken identities on arrests," said Lt. Jeff Kaer, of the bureau's identification division.

The IBIS uses the RDT to enable Portland police to capture and wirelessly transmit a suspect's fingerprints and photographs for searches against the FBI's automated fingerprint database, as well as a database of seven western states, known as the Western Identification Network. The officer can check the person's criminal history and search for any outstanding warrants. If there is a match, the system returns the person's name, date of birth and mug shot directly to the officer's handheld terminal. If there is no match, the fingerprint and photo files are discarded from the system.

Trials conducted at other agencies have demonstrated significant time savings for officers, keeping them from needlessly transporting suspects to a police precinct or jail to fingerprint them. The devices also provide officers on horseback, bicycles and motorcycles, who do not have the mobile computer terminals that patrol officers have at their fingertips, with the ability to access information on people they stop.

Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.
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