The Science and Technology Branch (STB) created the Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE) in 2007 to support its overall biometrics mission and fully coordinate its various biometric programs and activities.
The BCOE is the central program for advancing biometric capabilities for integration into operations. The BCOE is strengthening criminal investigations and enhancing national security, while ensuring compliance with privacy laws, policies, and regulations.
The BCOE is a collaborative initiative of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, the Laboratory Division, and the Operational Technology Division. By centralizing biometrics and having the serve as a one-stop-shop for biometric collaboration and expertise, the FBI’s ability to combat crime and terrorism is strengthened as biometric tools and technologies move more quickly from the laboratory to the workplace and into the hands of stakeholders and those protecting us.
Based in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the BCOE’s mission is to foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions within the and across the law enforcement and national security communities.
To facilitate communication and collaboration across government, academia, and industry on the specific issues of central importance to the FBI, the BCOE established and formalized the following biometric priorities:
- Extend biometric technical capabilities;
- Strengthen forensic science and advance biometrics;
- Drive national biometrics;
- Improve national security by developing and deploying biometric technologies.
These priorities serve as the foundation on which the carries out program activities. The priorities also ensure that time and resources are used wisely and every dollar invested in a biometric tool or technology is aligned with one or more of these priorities. This approach is not only smart, but also makes good economic sense, especially in these times of fiscal restraint, budget reductions, and competing national security priorities.
In just a short time, the BCOE has already made an impact and launched numerous strategic initiatives enriching the always-evolving, ever-growing biometric portfolio of services.