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Orlando Police To Push Forward With Facial Recognition Program

ORLANDO, FL – The City of Orlando and Orlando Police Department are always looking for new solutions to further our ability to keep our residents and visitors safe.  Part of that effort includes using technology-based policing and having a modern police department that can continue to address public safety through a variety of innovative, proven approaches.

Partnering with innovative companies, like Amazon Web Services, to test new technology is one way to ensure we offer the best in tools, training and technology for the men and women whose job it is to keep our community safe.

To that end, the City of Orlando will continue to test Amazon Rekognition facial recognition software to determine if this technology could reliably identify specific individuals as they come within view of specific cameras.   This pilot utilizes video streams from City-owned cameras and photos of the faces of seven police officers who volunteered to have their images used in the pilot program.

Because of the potential value facial recognition technology could have in furthering these public safety efforts, the City intends to continue the staff evaluation and further internal testing of Amazon’s Video Analytics technology through a second phase proof of concept (POC) pilot.

“We have made good strides in testing this technology and believe it is important to continue this evaluation period to determine if it’s a concept that could add immeasurable value in enhancing the City’s public safety mission in a manner that balances reasonable privacy concerns,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.

The next step in this process will be working with Amazon Web Services to refine a Statement of Work that further outlines the specifics of this second phase pilot, parameters and controls utilized.

These pilot parameters include:

  • No images of the public will be used for any testing – only images of Orlando police officers who have volunteered to participate in the test pilot will be used.
  • Limited utilization of eight designated video streams from City-owned cameras located at the following places – four at Orlando Police Headquarters, three IRIS cameras and one at another City facility.
  • As part of the pilot, the technology will not be used in an investigative capacity.
  • All elements of pilot are in accordance with current and applicable law, upholding all privacy laws and ensuring there are no violations of any individual’s civil rights.

Following the pilot, if the City of Orlando Police Department decides to ultimately implement official use of the technology, City staff would explore procurement and develop a policy and governance surrounding the technology at that time.

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