Today, communications security, i.e. the discipline of preventing unauthorized interceptors from accessing telecommunications in an intelligible form, while still delivering content to the intended recipients, is a main issue in our modern society especially. In this paper, attention is drawn to the importance and relevance of optical correlation techniques for detection and tracking people. In order to be efficient, these techniques need pre- or post-processing steps to take into account the environmental conditions. The aim of this work is to improve the performance of the optical correlation method, based on a new decision process in order to reduce the false detection rate. To realize this, we propose a method using a VanderLugt correlator with a phase-only filter for face recognition using two criteria for decision making based on the values of the peak-to-correlation energy and the energy distribution in different parts of the correlation plane. In the three-step algorithm, the first stage consists by dividing the correlation plane into nine equal sub-planes. In the second stage the energy of each sub-plane is computed, while in the last stage the classification criterion is realized and the recognition rate is calculated. Numerous tests were performed using the Pointing Head Pose Image Database. They show the effectiveness of the method in terms of face recognition detection rate without pre-processing phase and with 0% false detection.