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Security Technology: Biometrics Bolsters Equipment Accountability

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 34 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2007 Pages: 126,128,131
Jennifer Mertens
Date Published
March 2007
5 pages
This article describes a biometrics system that controls access to and monitors possession of police equipment that is checked out at the beginning of a shift and returned at the end of the shift.
The Biometric Access Control System (BACS) individually secures equipment in lockers or gun racks and allows authorized officers access to them through a touchscreen kiosk programmed to the fingerprints of each officer authorized to use each piece of equipment. The BACS, which is available from LEID Products, operates wirelessly through Bluetooth technology. The system stores in individual lockers or racks items such as stun guns, night vision goggles, portable testing devices, radios, handguns, ammunition, computers, etc. Each item stored is marked with a RFID chip, whose information is then linked wirelessly to the touchscreen kiosk. Items are checked out and in without the need of an equipment manager or a handwritten log. The kiosk computer keeps an electronic log of each item stored. At any time, agency supervisors can determine who took what item and when. A complete history of each item is kept, from date of acquisition to date of termination, including maintenance done and scheduled. Remote access from anywhere on the network allows managers to print reports in minutes. This article describes how the BACS works for the Farmington Hills Police Department (Michigan).