7.06.2012

KSP Unveils 3D Laser Scanner - Changing the Way Crimes are Solved

I have often said that technology should never drive our function; our function should always drive the technology we use. Simply put, the mission of the Kentucky State Police should never be altered or adjusted because of new gadgetry or devices. Emerging technology is useless to us if it doesn’t support our mission and purpose making our jobs more efficient and streamlined. With that said, we have acquired a new piece of equipment that will revolutionize the way we process crime and traffic scenes.
Thanks to a Violence Against Women Act grant, our agency now possesses a state-of-the-art three dimensional scanner that provides investigators with a 360 degree panorama of crime and crash scenes. The Leica ScanStation C10 is a portable laser that is capable of capturing thousands of points per seconds to a range of 900 feet. This laser mapping system is an incredible piece of technology and is currently the only one in the Kentucky law enforcement community. With a price tag of over $200,000 dollars, it is reported that less than one hundred of them are currently being used by law enforcement in the United States.
Not only does this process provide an incredible visual in the courtroom, it minimizes the potential for human error. Just as importantly, the Leica system minimizes man hours over the traditional total station approach. A scene that traditionally required as many as a dozen officers now only requires two or three officers and are often cleared 40-50 percent faster than mapping techniques utilized in the past. The speed of mapping enhances officer safety by allowing us to open roadways quicker and divert traffic for shorter periods of time. Not only does the Leica system provide a realistic visible record of the scene, it also provides investigators the ability to access exact measurements between objects in the diagram. This feature is built into the software component and requires no measuring on the part of the officer. The Leica system literally provides a digital footprint that allows us to determine a reliable and accurate depiction of the actual event.
Our Collision Analysis and Highway Safety Branch has already utilized the system over a dozen times, with the most recent being a trooper involved shooting in Breathitt County. Aside from criminal and traffic cases, this system has untold uses and possibilities: vulnerability and threat assessments, post blast investigations, fire scene reconstruction, and shooter trajectory analysis. If you would like to see firsthand how the Leica system operates, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZB9uY1ddiI&list=PLDEE6EDA89797110A&index=4&feature=plpp_video Despite austere budgetary times, our agency continues to set the trend nationally when it comes to state of the art investigative techniques.

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