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Despite New Technology, Police Composite Only As Good As Witness' Memory

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GARNER, N.C. — Even with new technology, police composites are only as accurate as witnesses' memories.

Cary police use Com Photo Fit to make composites of a suspect for whom they are looking, but it is up to a witness to put all of the pieces together.

"This is better because they are actually looking at real body parts as opposed to someone just coming up with something," said Detective Marcus Pearson, of the Cary Police Department.

Investigators said, along with its precision, the technology speeds up crime-fighting.

"We've had the victim driven from the crime scene right to [the police department] and had the composite done in an hour, hour-and-a-half -- sometimes shorter -- and you already have something to get out to patrol officers, so they already know who they are looking for," Pearson said.

All of the body part pictures in the database are actual photos of prisoners. Cary police is using the technology to help smaller departments like Garner and Apex.