Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 Pixels Right Between the Eyes

MorphoTrak's facial recognition imagery was the focus for businesses at the Chamber's monthly Good Morning Tacoma.

Sheriff Paul Pastor talks with attendee about security.

The business group was most interested in what businesses could do to assist law enforcement in the identification and apprehension of criminals. In reviewing the progress and future of law enforcement, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the future of law enforcement is in information: information mining, database management, etc. He said Pierce County, the first to adopt the facial recognition system of MorphoTrak, is on the cutting edge and has solved 50 cases using this technology.

Presenter Robert Taylor, Senior Manager, Tacoma Business Group, MorphoTrak, Inc. said the facial recognition program is an investigative tool, not a positive identification. And, he provided courtesy of his company, a list of recommendations for capturing good quality face images for assisting criminal investigations:
  • Place a security camera where the subject is most likely to be looking. In many instances, the best placement may be at the entrance facing into the building as most robbers look directly at the exit when they are leaving the scene.
  • Place a camera at "head height," or slightly lower, about 5 feet from the floor.
  • Check to see if the resolution of the video will capture enough resolution. 70-100 pixels of data between the eyes is optimal.
  • Use "attention traps" to get subjects to look in the direction of a video surveillance camera.
  • If the business uses looping VHS tapes to record, replace the tapes frequently (every two weeks if possible, every month at minimum). (Think about the grainy images we've all seen on TV!)
  • If the business routinely asks for ID during a business transaction, consider taking a photocopy (at 200% zoom) or using a digital "card scanner" to capture a digital version of the ID.
Today's program was sponsored by Sonitrol, which is also sponsoring a brochure now in development by the Chamber to guide businesses for the most effective placement of surveillance and security cameras. When it's available, this blog will post the information.

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