Detroit police board of commissioners consider using facial recognition

Detroit police are weighing the use of facial recognition to help them fight crimes.

The technology, which involves the ability to verify one's identity with a digital image, comes with obvious benefits of helping police officers locate and name criminals in open cases.

It also comes with the obvious concerns of breaching people's privacy.

"We are concerned about constitutional issues, we are concerned about privacy, we are concerned about the process," said Willie Bell, chair of the Board of Police Commissioners in Detroit. "Basically, we've been reviewing it and now we want the public to weigh in and give them an opportunity."

Bell said the board of police commissioners plans on hosting a forum to educate stakeholders on the availability of using cameras, as well as addressing their concerns about the technology.

"The meeting is of the concerns to address the issue of cameras on traffic lights and cameras on PLC poles," Bell said. "So facial recognition is part of that process so we're going to establish a public hearing to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on it."

For one citizen, its good news to see law enforcement dip its toes into advanced technology.

"I think it's a good idea that way they can stop locking up wrong people," said Katherine Higgs.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the St. John's Lutheran Church on Oakman Boulevard. Along with police commissioners being present, the DPD said an assistance chief will also be there.

"We want to make sure that we are thorough in that process and that comes with accountability of the process," said Bell.