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January 08, 2014
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Colo. sheriff's office uses iris scanner to ID suspects

Office has been using the technology since 2007 to book inmates and ensure they've caught the correct person

By PoliceOne Staff

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — When a man suspected of DUI didn't have an ID on him and was prepared to lie about his identity, officers were able to discover just who he was using an iris scan.

According to ABC 7, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office uses the technology to both book inmates and to verify that the correct person is being released. They are only one of two counties in the state with this technology.

"It's a modern day version of what the fingerprint card does," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said. "It maps the eye, much as running ink over a fingerprint maps the finger, it maps the blood vessels. It turns out the human eye when looked a close enough would be like a fingerprint."

Smith said they also use the scanner when the county's 205 sex offenders are required to check in, to make sure they have the correct person.

"This technology in addition to allowing us to get the right people taken into custody, also allows us to clear up people who may have been accused of something and somebody else assumed their identity." 

The Sheriff's Office has been using the technology since 2007. Smith said he hopes to one day have deputies carry scanners in the field.



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