In a meeting of the council’s public safety committee Friday, LBPD Assistant Chief Wally Hebeish defended his department’s limited use of facial recognition software, calling it a valuable tool that is only used to generate leads in criminal investigations. Even then, he said, it must be supported by other evidence for detectives to take action on it.
“We don’t use that for mass surveillance of the community,” Hebeish said.
The three City Council members at Friday’s meetings—Suely Saro, Roberto Uranga and Suzie Price—didn’t take any direct stance on whether they believed the technology was appropriate, but some city officials have taken a firmer position.
Since early last year, a two-member subcommittee of the city’s Technology and Innovation Committee has been researching facial recognition technology, and this week, they published a report recommending Long Beach ban its use for the time being and establish a way to vet new…