ABC 33/40 News: Calhoun County Sheriff Gets Iris Scanner

It's the kind of technology you'd see in the movie Mission Impossible and the Calhoun County Sheriff got his hands on it. The
office is now using an iris scanner to identify convicted criminals. It's the only law enforcement agency in Alabama to have it.
The machine was paid for through a grant. It takes a digital picture of a person's unique iris in less than 5 seconds. It's space-age
fingerprinting: simple but accurate and with no physical contact.

The camera taps into a national database but one that is still being created. Calhoun County deputies will soon start scanning sex
offenders and inmates. The system should be up and running in a few weeks.

"The deputy or the officer doesn't have to go back the computer and query the database there. He doesn't have to get on the radio.
He just merely takes a picture of their eye," says Larry Amerson, Calhoun County Sheriff.

The iris scanner also comes in a portable, hand-held form that's attached to an I-phone. The sheriff is looking to purchase them
through an additional grant.

For the safety of children, Sheriff Amerson is also looking to scan children's eyes to have the information on file in the event of
an abduction. He says the scan would be automatically expunged once the child turns 18.

from ABC 33/40 News  © 2010 TV Alabama, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
posted 11:21 pm Tue June 22, 2010 - Anniston, AL
reporter: Ana Jasen posted by: Ana Jasen