Interpol, the Europe-based international organization charged with coordinating most of the world's national police forces in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism, announced a new global identity card for its officers.
There was an atmosphere of high anticipation in a New York hotel, as representatives of international security related businesses, Interpol and others gathered to announce the new technology. Ronald Noble, Interpol's American-born Secretary General, told the VOA the new high-tech tool will help law enforcement officials from the organization's 188 member countries cooperate to halt crime and terrorism.
"We're here to announce the deployment of our 'Global Smart eID' card that allows Interpol officers to cross borders more easily and once in countries, they will be able to access global databases securely, something that's never been done before," he said.
The new Global Smart Card will enable users to access Interpol's vast global facilities, networks and databases from anywhere in the world. Noble said this represents a profound advance over previous technologies.
"Because with this ID card technology, we'll no longer be restricted to doing a screening at borders or at airports, but anywhere we go," said Noble. "Therefore any suspicious person or any person whose identity you want to identify, you can do it anywhere in the world. That's the greatest thing about this technology that we are announcing here today."
The device will be highly useful at large international sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup competition, currently underway in South Africa.
"The World Cup is our largest deployment in history for a major sporting event. We have officers from 47 countries, and we have this technology deployed where we are able to scan at the site, at hotels, and of course at the borders," added Noble.
Noble said Interpol does not restrict itself to terrorism related crimes. It also tracks lost and stolen passports, helps to identify rescued children, and helps to identify and track human traffickers and bring those suspected of these crimes to the attention of local police authorities for arrest.