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September 23 • 06:43 PM
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County first to use ID technology


Sheriff receives a $10,000 grant to implement eye recognition program



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February 11, 2009
LAPEER COUNTY — The Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept. is keeping an ever-closer eye on the safety of local residents—both young and old.

On Monday, Sheriff Ron Kalanquin announced the award of the $10,000 Brigid Sheppard Memorial Grant to Lapeer County. The cutting-edge technology will allow the Sheriff's department to become the first in Michigan to implement The Child Project and Senior Safety Net.

The two systems enable law enforcement agencies to enroll, identify and locate missing children and adults through the use of iris recognition biometric technology.

Kalanquin made the announcement during a morning press conference, during which the eye recognition system was demonstrated.

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Sheriff’s Deputy Dorothy Kalar looks on as Hunter Engle, 3, and his mom, Hope, are introduced to the county’s new state-of-the-art iris recognition system. The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. is the first in Michigan to receive funding to implement the technology used to identify youngsters and adults. photo by Tom Wearing.

"We do everything we can to protect the citizens of our communities," said Kalanquin, "particularly those most vulnerable like our children and seniors. We strive to embrace techniques and technologies to improve public safety. Iris biometric technology and The Child Project are excellent examples of this innovation."

On hand for Monday's press conference was Peter Y. Flynn, a retired Massachusetts sheriff, who is the co-founder of The Child Project.

Flynn said the new technology is vastly superior to finger printing, the old method of identification.

"This is just the fourth year of this program," said Flynn. "This is the fortieth state to implement the new technology, with Lapeer County being the first in Michigan. There were literally hundreds of sheriffs and counties that put in for this grant, and you were chosen."

Not only does the new technology help law enforcement locate and identify missing children and older adults with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, Flynn noted, it can have even wider purpose.

"We are also able to scan jail and prison inmates and sex offenders with this system," Flynn said. "It has a lot of purposes."

Kalanquin pointed out that Lapeer County will be able to implement the program without spending additional taxpayer money.

"With this grant, we are able to expand our capabilities at no cost to taxpayers," he said. "We are gratified and appreciative that this grant was made available to us."

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