NYPD to Start Iris Scanning Criminal Suspects

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    TK
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    LONDON - JANUARY 24: In this photo illustration the Job Centre Plus website is reflected on an eye, January 24, 2009 in London, England. Government figures released earlier in the week put the number of people out of work in December 2008 at 1.92 million, its highest level since September 1997. (Photo illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Along with fingerprints and mug shots, the New York City Police Department is now taking photographs of the irises of crime suspects. 

    The NYPD says the images will be used to help avoid cases of mistaken identity. The process takes about five minutes. Every suspect will be scanned again using a handheld device shortly before they are arraigned to make sure the irises match.
    Police say the software, handheld device and cameras cost about $23,800 each, and 21 systems will be used around the city.
    Central booking in Manhattan started taking photos Monday. The devices will be in use in Brooklyn and the Bronx in the upcoming weeks, and later in Staten Island and Queens.
    Police say the photos cause no damage to the eye.