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GCN : October 2015
20 GCN OCTOBER 2015 • GCN.COM The data center at the Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia is home to the Next Generation Identification system. (FBI photo) The FBI has a new system for identifying fingerprints and other biometric data that enhances the ability of federal, state and local law enforcement agents to catch criminals. In unveiling the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system earlier this year, the FBI demonstrated a set of features that boosts the speed and accuracy of its matching systems by an order of magnitude over the 15-year- old Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. IAFIS, launched in 1999, was designed to handle 64,000 fingerprint- matching transactions daily with an average two-hour response time. In contrast, NGI was built to process 700,000 transactions a day, with a 15-minute turnaround. Officials began planning for NGI in 2006 with a painstaking series of interviews of 193 agencies and 18,000 law enforcement officials that covered key requirements investigators across the country envisioned for the new system. The survey helped the FBI plan improvements to the speed and accu- racy of its fingerprint-matching systems and develop a number of specialized biometric tools, including the matching of tattoos and facial images. In doing so, the FBI was able to hit performance improvement marks, es- pecially in 10-print matching, the heart of the FBI’s investigative toolkit. “In February of 2011, we changed the algorithm for the 10-print match- ing system and went from 92 percent to 99 percent accurate,” NGI Program Manager James Preaskorn said. AT A GLANCE PROJECT: Next Generation Identification System ORGANIZATION: FBI, Justice Department Specialized biometric tools and a new algorithm for fingerprint matching have contributed to a faster, more robust ID system for law enforcement. NEW FBI SYSTEM CASTS WIDE BIOMETRIC NET OVER CRIMINALS The Next Generation Identification project speeds the matching of fingerprints and facial images in criminal investigations 1015gcn_020-038.indd 20 10/5/15 10:40 AM
January and February 2016