The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), located in the State of Florida, hosts the largest single facial recognition database in the U.S., called Florida’s Facial Recognition Network (FR-Net). Pinellas deputies — as well as over 230 partnering agencies in Florida — use FR-Net to run photos of unknown suspects against a database of over 25 million identified faces pulled from criminal and non-criminal sources like driver's licenses, mugshots, and federal IDs.
More specifically, FR-Net provides facial biometric search capabilities, subject information, face image comparison tools, training for facial recognition search, and face image analysis methods and best practices via the Criminal Justice Network (CJNET) to authorized Florida law enforcement agencies.
Under the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the PCSO would provide self-paced online training information for selected members of the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) and, after successful completion of the training material, grant access and make information available for the trained personnel to perform automated facial recognition searches and face image comparisons through the Face Analysis Comparison & Examination System (FACES).
The ability to access this network for criminal justice purposes will provide a critical investigative resource and increase the possibility of identifying missing persons and wanted individuals. To address any privacy concerns a detailed policy would be established to govern the use of the network and of those with access to the technology, to include IT Department oversight via a monthly usage report.
The City of Miami Beach has the authority under Chapter 23 of the Florida Statutes, known as the “Florida Mutual Aid Act,” to enter into Voluntary Cooperation and Operational Assistance Mutual Aid Agreements. The MBPD, therefore, requests the City Commission to authorize the Interim City Manager and City Clerk to execute an MOU with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for the aforementioned activities.