For years, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) hasn’t given a clear answer on whether it uses facial recognition in its policing work. That changed this week. On Monday, the agency told The Los Angeles Times it has used the technology nearly 30,000 times since late 2009.
The LAPD uses the Los Angeles County Regional Identification System (LACRIS), a database of more than 9 million mugshots maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. At one point, more than 500 LAPD personnel had access to the system, though the department claims that the number is closer to 300 in recent months. Josh Rubenstein, a spokesperson for the LAPD, said he couldn’t be sure how many arrests LACRIS has helped the police department make. However, he said, “No individuals are arrested by the LAPD based solely on facial recognition results.”