The Davis County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office is using a new iris-scanning technology to track and identify convicted criminals, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. It also could be used to find missing children or senior citizens. The office is the first of 45 sheriff’s agencies nationwide to receive the technology, which uses a camera to take a high-quality image of the colored portion of the eye that surrounds the black pupil.
Images are scanned into a computer and become part of an online national database to which Davis County has access. A $10,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant through the National Sheriffs’ Association paid for the technology. Iris scanning will help public-safety agencies identify and track criminals more quickly and easily than traditional methods of fingerprinting or testing DNA, said BI2 Technologies President Sean Mullin, whose company makes the equipment. Iris scanning produces more precise biological information than fingerprinting, he said, adding finger pads can be altered to change the print.