By LBJ | WGNO | July 20, 2022


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Facial recognition software for the NOPD is back on the table. Many business and neighborhood leaders, fed up with violent crime, support the technology, in spite of criticism that it violates privacy rights.

Tomorrow, the city council is set to vote on allowing the police department to resume using the technology, but today was a show of unity by supporters in advance of the vote.

Commissioner Tenisha Stevens, of the Office of Criminal Justice Coordinator stated, “In order for us to reduce our violent crime, we must exhaust all of our tools that we have available to us.”

The argument for use of the technology in response to the crime surge also takes into account the issue of staffing of the police department.

According to Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, “We at an over 50-year staffing low, and this technology is necessary to serve as a force multiplier.”

A number of organizations, including the ACLU have opposed the use of the technology on the grounds that it violates civil rights and today the city tried to address those concerns

“This will not be handled by every officer on the street. It would have to go through a process where they will have to fill out a form to get this technology utilized,” said John Thomas, Director of Homeland Security.