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Dominican police use face biometrics app to arrest wanted individuals

A new facial verification system deployed by the police in the Dominican Republic has led to the arrests of 843 fugitives and criminal suspects in just four months.

The app can tell law enforcement officers on patrol whether the person they’ve pulled over has a criminal record, owns a gun, or is a fugitive on the run – all by taking a picture of their face.

The information is then matched with the facial records of more than 10 million people stored in the government’s database operated by the Central Electoral Board.

The screen turns red if the person is found to have a pending arrest warrant. They will be immediately detained and taken to a police station.

The green color means the person’s record is clear, and they will be sent off on their way. Yellow signifies they have a criminal record, while gray indicates they possess firearms, and further checks are made to ensure their permit is valid.

Police officers can check the information by entering a person’s ID number as well, and the app can also flag stolen vehicles – with 2,791 identified so far.

The Dominican police started rolling out the app, called the Citizenship and Biometric Identification System, in June. It said it was installed on 2,087 police phones – a number expected to reach 6,000 nationwide by the first quarter of 2023.

The initiative is part of the broader plan to modernize Dominican police forces.

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