BROCKTON — Officer Scott Shields held up the oversized iPhone and snapped a photo.
Within seconds, that photo would match one of a man included in a test database.
It is part of a new facial recognition system now being used by Brockton police.
The system, called MORIS (Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System), will allow officers in the field to take photos of suspects to be compared with a database now being developed by sheriff departments across the state.
“This is something the officers can access when they are out on the road,” said Police Chief William Conlon.
He said officers can take a photo of a suspect, upload it into a secure network where it is analyzed then learn – often within seconds – who the person is.
Conlon said the handheld iPhone device will likely be used by the gang unit initially until the department can get more of the devices through grants.
The device – with the necessary applications – costs $3,000 – and was made available thanks in part to a $200,000 federal grant funneled through the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association.