Professional Training Series

Webinar: A Face in the Crowd – Finding Your Suspect Using Searchable Photo Databases Without the Aid of Facial Recognition software

Class Dates: 2/28/2019 -2/28/2019

Class Times: 1300 EDT; 1 1/2 to 2 hrs



Class Description:

As analysts and investigators, we see a lot of faces. Whether it’s from looking at booking photos, scanning surveillance video, or scouring a suspect’s social media account, we are constantly searching for faces. In many respects, faces are our business. But there are just so many! The Los Angeles County booking photo system currently contains about 7 million face photos. Given an image of an unknown suspect, it doesn’t seem possible that we could locate him or her in that sea of faces without the aid of facial recognition software or a magical crystal ball. But it is indeed possible! The purpose of this presentation is to show you how you can apply certain search techniques to searchable law enforcement photo databases to filter results and potentially identify a possible suspect.

Some suspects are easier to locate in large photo databases based on unique physical characteristics, identifiers, or patterns of behavior. Less common crimes such as various forms of fraud, crimes that require a learned skill, or clues to a suspect’s preferred geographical area of operation also provide angles in which to filter and search databases allowing us to hone in on a suspect. We will discuss what physical and behavioral characteristics to look for, what types of crimes work best, and where we can obtain clues to a suspect’s geographical area. We will also take a look at several real-world examples to illustrate how these techniques have produced results.

There are challenges when manually searching a large pool of faces without the aid of facial recognition software. Comparing a suspect image to a potential candidate can be difficult without applying certain facial identification practices. There is always the danger of a false identification. We will discuss and practice comparing facial features and will go over additional factors to consider when determining whether you may have a good match.

When you think you have a good suspect identification, simply presenting a photo of someone that looks just like your suspect often isn’t enough. We will discuss different ways to validate your findings by pulling additional corroborating information about your suspect from other investigative and public resources. We will then go over how to best present your findings to your customer.

The course will mostly utilize the LA County booking photo system as an example, but many of the techniques presented here can be applied to just about any searchable photo database.

Citrix invites will be sent out roughly 1 week before the webinar.

Registration will CLOSE at 1700 CT the previous business day.


IACA Members: $10.00 USD

Non-Members: $20.00 USD

For more information, contact Sabrina Potts at (913) 742-6815

Class Registration and Cancellation Policy

Training Class Cost

Your training fee is determined at the time of your registration. If you register for a class as a non-member but join the IACA at a later date, you are still responsible for the non-member training rate for any classes your registered for prior to becoming a member. If you are an IACA member but your membership has lapsed, please renew your membership and verify it is active before registering for a training class. you can check your membership status here.

If you transfer your registration to a non-IACA member within your organization, you will be responsible for paying the difference between the member and non-member rates.

Payments / Refunds

All payments are in U.S. Dollars (USD). Payments for IACA classes must be received 10 business days prior to the first day of class.

All refunds for credit card or PayPal payments will be subject to a 4% administrative fee to cover charges we must pay for those transactions.

Cancellations and Substitutions

Student cancellations or withdrawals from a class must be received by the Training Series Director via email at least 15 business days prior to the first day of class.

If your training fee has been paid but you cannot attend, you may transfer your registration to another person in your organization. If you transfer your registration to a non-IACA member, you will be responsible for paying the difference between the member and non-member rates. The IACA training director must be notified via email of any substitutions.

If a cancellation or withdrawal occurs within the 15 day period prior to the start of the class, class tuition will not be refunded to a student or organization and cannot be applied to future IACA classes. Exceptions to this cancellation policy can only be made by the Training Series Coordinator on a case by case basis.


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