INTERPOL Washington Addresses Biometrics Conference
On July 26, 2017, INTERPOL Washington--the U.S. National Central Bureau--participated in the Biometrics for Government & Law Enforcement International Conference. Held in Arlington, Virginia, the three-day event brought together industry experts from various fields, including high level U.S. government officials, directors of security agencies, heads of acquisition, and biometric program managers, to discuss the challenges and best practices they have encountered with shaping national and global security.
INTERPOL Washington Assistant Director Royce Walters addressed the session called, “Leveraging Voice, Face and Physical Behavioral Biometrics to Enhance Security Layers.” He provided an overview of INTERPOL Washington, including its mission and participation in various information sharing initiatives.
Border points are critical locations for preserving national security and INTERPOL has a number of tools to support these efforts, including INTERPOL’s database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD). Walters explained the origins of SLTD which became operational in July of 2002, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. SLTD helps INTERPOL member countries secure their borders and protect their citizens from terrorists and other dangerous criminals who travel freely using stolen, lost, revoked, and forged travel documents. The SLTD database is a searchable repository of visas and passports reported as lost or stolen.
INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and law enforcement agencies submit information about stolen and lost travel documents directly into the SLTD database via INTERPOL’s secure global police-to-police communications system, I-24/7. Law enforcement officials use the SLTD database to screen the passports of individuals who are travelling internationally in order to rapidly ascertain the status of the individual and passport in question.
Walters emphasized the important role that individual countries play in the success of the SLTD. The database is only as strong as the information entered and the consistency of its use.
A component of the U.S. Department of Justice, INTERPOL Washington is co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As the designated representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General, INTERPOL Washington serves as the national point of contact for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States.