Sheriffs Deploy Fingerprint Access Systems in Pegasus Program

MINNEAPOLIS, -- BIO-key International, Inc., a leader in finger-based biometric identification and wireless public safety solutions, today announced that the Pegasus Program, a nationwide information sharing system designed by and for the Nation's Sheriffs, has implemented the first phase of BIO-key's state-of-the-art WEB-key fingerprint authentication system.

The Pegasus Program is deploying approximately 1,100 fingerprint access authentication devices for 220 Sheriffs' offices in the first phase of this project. Plans are in place to expand the rollout to over 3,000 Sheriffs' offices nationwide, as well as local law enforcement and first responder agency partners. Under the program, each participating Sheriff's office is provided the WEB-key software along with fingerprint readers. Larger offices can purchase additional readers if necessary.

The Pegasus system provides Sheriffs in any state with Web-based access to information required for day-to-day law enforcement investigations and first responder situations. It also allows them to securely send and receive secure messages to other jurisdictions, such as requests for information and assistance and alerts. WEB-key assures that only authorized personnel access the system through positive fingerprint authentication.

"Although there are fingerprint authentication systems in use within a single location or enterprise, we believe the Pegasus Program is the first multi-agency system using secure Internet connections for fingerprint authentication," said Mike DePasquale, CEO of BIO-key. "We are directly addressing the most pressing issue in homeland security: sharing critical information between first responders nationwide in a highly secure environment."

Fingerprint authentication provides a high degree of security and user accountability in the Pegasus system. As an added measure of security, before accessing more sensitive functions, the user must re-authenticate using their fingerprint to ensure that the user is still present and accountable for the requested action. Only a fingerprint is required, and this critical security process is completed in two seconds or less.

"BIO-key's technology is critical in achieving the Pegasus Program's goal of creating an information technology and communications system that treats local law enforcement and emergency responders as an information sharing enterprise," said Dennis Kelly, Project Executive for the Pegasus Program's technology implementation consortium. "System security efforts are key to the Pegasus Technology Consortium's efforts to support the Nation's Sheriffs, who are leading this information sharing effort."

The Pegasus Program for Sheriffs and their local law enforcement partners is administered by the Pegasus Research Foundation. The Pegasus Technology Consortium includes Circadence Corp., which provides a military grade technology designed to assure emergency priority for local law enforcement and first responders; Cquay Technologies, which provides mapping and location applications; and Geographic Data Technologies, which provides mapping and location data in support of the Pegasus Program service.

About BIO-key

BIO-key develops and delivers advanced identification solutions and information services to law enforcement departments, public safety agencies, governments and private sector customers. BIO-key's mobile wireless technology provides first responders with critical, reliable real time data and images from local, state and national databases. BIO-key's high performance, scalable, cost effective and easy to deploy biometric finger identification technology accurately identifies and authenticates users of wireless and enterprise data to improve security, convenience and privacy as well as reducing identity theft. ( http://www.bio-key.com)

About the Pegasus Program

The Pegasus Program is a nationwide information sharing program providing a more efficient and secure way for local law enforcement officers to access the same information to which they have traditionally had access. It utilizes a non-federal, multi-state immediate information sharing system designed by and for the Nation's Sheriffs and their local law enforcement and other first responder partners, utilizing COTS technology. The Program is administered by the Pegasus Research Foundation using U.S. Department of Justice-approved NIST standards, and is supported by the National Sheriffs' Association. ( http://www.pegasusresearch.org )

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