Social networking sites are a great way to meet and connect with new people, such as cops. DNAinfo New York writes:
Police are searching for suspects’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, then running them through the NYPD’s new Facial Recognition Unit to put a face to a name, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Detectives are now breaking cases across the city thanks to the futuristic technology that marries mug shots of known criminals with pictures gleaned from social media, surveillance cameras and anywhere else cops can find images.
[An] official explained how the new technology worked after a recent street robbery where a woman reported her jewelry stolen by her gal pal’s boyfriend. She did not know his name, only that he was likely in photos on his girlfriend’s Facebook page. “We did not have his name, but we found a photo and the Facial Recognition Unit got a hit.”
The new investigative entity was formally launched late last year, with eight cops working in teams of four manning the operations. Facial recognition — which zeroes in on features and extracts size and shape of eyes, noses, cheekbones and jaws to find a match — is now revolutionizing investigations in ways not seen since fingerprint analysis was implemented generations ago.
Facial Recognition hits are not legally considered “probable cause” for cops to make an arrest, but it provides investigators with a roadmap to follow to obtain other photographs to present to victims to identify suspects.