"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, … because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
At this point in the story, one of the officers has seen the bad guy. She describes him to a police "sketch artist."
(Software sketch artist from the film Runaway)
The sketch artist software operator would work with the controls and alter the picture based on the description of the witness.
(Police sketch artist pad detail)
Best of all, the resulting "sketch" could be animated; a moving picture of someone is a much better means of identification.
As far as I know, the earliest police sketch artist software to actually be used came out in 1995. Suspect ID by Imageware would allow an officer with no artistic background to create an image good enough to be used on the street.
This same company now offers an enhanced version of the same software, as well as face-recognition software to take images and search for suspects in databases.
Police Sketch Artist Software-related
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