Non-Member – Webinar: A Face in the Crowd – Finding Your Suspect Using Searchable Photo Databases Without the Aid of Facial Recognition software




As analysts and investigators, we see a lot of faces. Whether it’s from looking at booking photos, scanning surveillance video, or scouring a suspect’s social media account, we are constantly searching for faces. In many respects, faces are our business. But there are just so many! The Los Angeles County booking photo system currently contains about 7 million face photos. Given an image of an unknown suspect, it doesn’t seem possible that we could locate him or her in that sea of faces without the aid of facial recognition software or a magical crystal ball. But it is indeed possible! The purpose of this presentation is to show you how you can apply certain search techniques to searchable law enforcement photo databases to filter results and potentially identify a possible suspect.

Some suspects are easier to locate in large photo databases based on unique physical characteristics, identifiers, or patterns of behavior. Less common crimes such as various forms of fraud, crimes that require a learned skill, or clues to a suspect’s preferred geographical area of operation also provide angles in which to filter and search databases allowing us to hone in on a suspect. We will discuss what physical and behavioral characteristics to look for, what types of crimes work best, and where we can obtain clues to a suspect’s geographical area. We will also take a look at several real-world examples to illustrate how these techniques have produced results.

There are challenges when manually searching a large pool of faces without the aid of facial recognition software. Comparing a suspect image to a potential candidate can be difficult without applying certain facial identification practices. There is always the danger of a false identification. We will discuss and practice comparing facial features and will go over additional factors to consider when determining whether you may have a good match.

When you think you have a good suspect identification, simply presenting a photo of someone that looks just like your suspect often isn’t enough. We will discuss different ways to validate your findings by pulling additional corroborating information about your suspect from other investigative and public resources. We will then go over how to best present your findings to your customer.

The course will mostly utilize the LA County booking photo system as an example, but many of the techniques presented here can be applied to just about any searchable photo database.

Citrix invites will be sent out roughly 1 week before the webinar.

Registration will CLOSE at 1700 CT the previous business day.

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