The New York Times paints a creepy picture this week of facial recognition software, a tool developed by military intelligence to help identify terrorists that’s now being used by police, including the San Diego Police Department.
Facial recognition technology gives police the ability to photograph a person’s face, run it through a database of hundreds of thousands San Diego mugshots, and match it to features of someone they’ve stopped.
An aside in the Times story caught my eye (emphasis mine):
Here, beat cops, detectives and even school police officers have been using hand-held devices to create a vast database of tens of thousands of photos of people …
So does this mean that in addition to SDPD cops using the technology on people it suspects of crimes, San Diego Unified, which has its own police force, is using the software too? Turns out, that’s exactly what it means.
District spokeswoman Ursula Kroemer said San Diego Unified was given facial recognition devices by the Automated Regional Justice Information System, a network of law enforcement agencies in San Diego County that share information.
San Diego Unified police officers have only used the devices on a handful of occasions, and only for adults who have been part of criminal investigations, Kroemer said.
We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?
An interesting and related article can be found by searching:
"Los Angeles Unified School District Debates Whether to Shoot Its Own Students - with Department of Defense Weapons"
It is nonsense to believe or suggest that the existence of a written policy, that requires the deletion of photographs of persons whose images are not found, would be not be sufficient to guarantee compliance and prevent abuse. Al that is necessary is the plagiarization of the SDPD policy.
We are speaking about a group that includes, was advised by, is affiliated to, or operates in the same universe as the SDPD here; and we know that the Finest have always adhered to policies.
On sandi.net it says that the school police report to the Chief Operations Officer. That is Drew Rowlands.
Drew Rowlands reports to Cindy Marten.
Might be a good idea to ask Drew Rowlands what the procedure is when the district is offered these devices.
Is it up to the judgement of the school police? Do they discuss this with Drew? Does Drew check with Cindy?
Sounds like a link is missing in the Chain of Command.
This report makes the school police sound like they're an independent agency, but don't they have to get authorization from the school district?
This software tool is "only for adults who have been part of a criminal investigation?" Does that include adults who have been required to respond to the Grand Jury for breaking state ethics laws?
The superintendent and the school board members have had a year, since the MRAP fiasco, to create a policy regarding using these weapons against terrorism, on the parents and children of SDUSD. I have one a policy....Don't.
And Ursula Kroemer, don't scapegoat a lower level manager, every time the superintendent makes a mistake.
This is Dr. Cynthia Marten's job...I just checked Transparentcalifornia.com and see we paid her $316,255, including benefits, in 2014.
She needs to sit at her desk and do her job, instead of flying to Sacramento, with Marne Foster, every other week.