JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Did you know your eye, specifically the iris, is one the of the best and quickest ways to confirm you are, indeed, you?
"The iris, like a fingerprint, has very unique characteristics. No two are alike," says Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale.
Those unique characteristics are what a new system called Biometric Technology relies on to help police and sheriff's departments when trying to identify convicted sex offenders.
"And all you have to do is have the individual take a look at the camera - that's it," explains Sean Mullin, demonstrating the system.
Mullin, who is president of a company called BI2 Technologies, explains that once a digital picture is taken of the iris, the system now searches a nationwide database. "In about 25 seconds, it's going to come back and tell you who this person is and all his arrest records," he says.
Mullin says the technology is being used in forty-seven states, including many large cities like San Diego and Atlanta.
Thursday, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office announced they're using it too.
"Here in the state of Alabama, we've led the way on convicted sex offenders. We've led the way on having the strongest law on convicted sex offenders in the country," says Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian.
"And in partnering with Watch Systems and in partnering with this new iris technology, we're on top of it pretty strong."
"The technology Sheriff Hale implemented has identified almost 20,000 individuals, just in the last 12 months, who were arrested in one jurisdiction only to show up in multiple or other jurisdictions often times with a completely different identity than in the past," Mullin says.