Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using biometric identification technology in their identity-management systems. Biometric fingerprint technology is the most mature and commonly used type for most applications.

When an individual is first enrolled in a fingerprint-based biometric system, the software records a template of the individual’s fin-gerprint and associates that template with the record identifier for that enrollment. The template measures the relationships among the various points in the fingerprint.

Any time an officer wants to use a desktop or mobile computer that incorporates biometric fingerprint technology, he or she must first be identified by using the fingerprint reader attached to the device.

“With this technology, the identity of an officer trying to access a facility or a database containing information about the pub-lic can be easily and quickly authenticated,” said Randy Fotero, vice president of sales for BIO-key International Inc., Wall, N.J. “The government needs to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens by ensuring that anyone trying to access public information is uniquely identified.”

Law enforcement agencies also use other types of biometric technology to establish user identification and authorization, including voice, signature, hand and face geometry, and iris and retinal scans.

“We are just scratching the surface of how biometric technology will be applied,” Fotero said.

In the future, law enforcement will use biometric technology to authorize access to property, equipment, sensitive information such as police and prosecution reports, daily assignments and alerts.