Law-enforcement technologyFacial recognition systems for Orange County, California

Published 22 December 2011

Hunter Systems will sell and configure up to thirty-one Hunter SmartShot systems to twenty police departments in Orange County and to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Facial recognition ha been used in other jurisdictions to solve crime // Source:

Hunter Systems Group, Inc. said it has entered into a contract with the Integrated Law & Justice Agency for Orange County (ILJAOC), a Joint Powers Authority representing the Criminal Justice System in a county of more than three million people. Under the terms of the agreement, Hunter will sell and configure up to thirty-one Hunter SmartShot systems to twenty police departments in Orange County and to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The contract, funded using federal grants, is worth in excess of $100,000, and will allow local police departments and law enforcement agencies to take consistent, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-compliant, facial recognition-ready mug shot photographs with a click of a mouse.

ILJAOC’s executive director Bob McDonell said, “After a thorough public Request for Proposal (RFP) process and the due diligence that followed on the selected Vendor, we chose the Hunter SmartShot solution as our mug shot capturing system of choice for our Member Agencies. After exploring the options available, we found the Hunter SmartShot answer to be a reasonably priced, cutting-edge system, while still permitting our member agencies’ users to easily take NIST compliant photographs. We look forward to our continuing relationship with Hunter Systems Group.”

Consistency is important in the ILJAOC’s data and information sharing initiative. Hunter System says that the use of facial recognition technology in the county through the ILJAOC’s System, is enhanced when the organic mug shots being taken comply with NIST best practices. Inconsistencies, like slight differences in lighting and positioning, are reduced when the photographic process is automated and employs biometric capabilities.

We believe that this is a beneficial product for a law enforcement agency to have in its own right, since it serves the valuable purpose of taking consistent mug shot photos,” states Hunter Systems group president and CEO Mark Thompson. “But when several area law enforcement agencies all use the same mug shot capturing system, the effectiveness of the facial recognition initiative is dramatically increased.”

Upon fulfillment of the ILJAOC contract, Hunter SmartShot will be installed in more than 200 law enforcement agencies around the United States, including Orange County, California, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. “As the technology takes on mainstream importance, we believe that facial recognition is only as good as its images,” says Thompson. “Hunter SmartShot is the best option to ensure that these images are high quality and consistent.”