Mass. Student Iris Scans Entered in National Missing Person’s Database

Mass. student iris scans entered in national missing person’s database

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 6:40pm

(NECN: Siobhan Lopez, Worcester, Mass.) – It takes less than a minute to enter a child’s information into a national missing person’s database. All it takes is a photo, some general information like height and weight, and a quick scan of your eyes.

 

“The eyes don’t lie,” said Lewis Evangelidis, the Worcester City sheriff. “The eyes are the identification.”

 

It’s a part of Evangelidis’ child ID iris scan program.

 

The camera captures an up-close look at the iris, which is the colored part of the eye.

 

The sheriff says the iris is ten times more identifiable than a fingerprint. It’s the one part of the body that will never change.

 

“Fingerprints wear out, fingerprints can be compromised. Your iris cannot be,” he explained.

 

Sheriff Evangelidis has been using the program with senior citizens for years. Wednesday was the first time it’s been brought to a public school.

 

Close to 500 Nelson Place School students lined up to get their picture taken. The students are days away from summer vacation. The sheriff says it’s a perfect time to get their information in the system.

 

“This iris scan is a national database, so if you travel in the summer and something was to happen, you’d be part of that database in any local law enforcement no matter where you were,” Evangelidis explained.

 

Evangelidis also uses iris scans at the Worcester County House of Corrections to identify inmates.  He calls the technology the next generation of identification, but says it shouldn’t replace traditional child ID kits that use fingerprints.

 

“You know it’s always good if you’ve got the potential to have a safety kit with fingerprinting. I’d recommend that too,” he said.