Notice of Intent to Use Investigative Tool
The Wheat Ridge Police Department has created a new policy and accountability report in preparation of regaining access to a previously used investigative tool. Prior to early 2020, the department used facial recognition to assist in the investigations of crimes and missing persons. Facial recognition technology examines and compares distinguishing characteristics of a human face using biometric algorithms contained with the software application. Like many other investigative tools, facial recognition provides leads for officers and detectives to investigate and assists in reducing violent crime, fraud, and risks to the community’s safety.
In 2022, the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 22-113 governing the use of the investigative technology and forming a task force to oversee such use. As seen in the Senate Bill and the Wheat Ridge policy, authorized uses are:
- A reasonable suspicion that an identifiable individual has committed a criminal offense or is involved in planning criminal (including terroristic) conduct or activity that presents a threat to any individual, the community, or the nation;
- An active or ongoing criminal or homeland security investigation;
- To mitigate an imminent threat to health or safety through short-term situational awareness surveillance or other means;
- To assist in the identification of a person who lacks capacity or is otherwise unable to identify themselves, such as incapacitated or deceased;
- To develop, investigate, and/or corroborate tips and leads;
- To assist in the identification of potential witnesses and/or victims of violent crime; and
- To support law enforcement in critical incident responses.
Use of facial recognition technology is NOT authorized for:
- Non-law enforcement purposes;
- Any purpose that violates the U.S. Constitution or laws of the United States, including protections of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments;
- Prohibiting or deterring lawful individual exercise of other rights, such as freedom of association, implied by or secured by the U.S. Constitution or any other constitutionally protected right or attribute;
- Harassing and/or intimidating an individual or group; and
- Any other access, use, disclosure, or retention that would violate applicable law, regulation, or policy.
Department personnel do not have the ability to use the technology live through the body worn cameras. Any use of the technology requires logging, peer review, and documentation, all subject to audit. For more information, please review Senate Bill 22-113, WRPD Policy 8.32, and WRPD Facial Recognition Accountability Report for LexisNexis: Lumen.
Three public meetings will be held to discuss the topic. Announcement of each public meeting will be published on this page.