Documenting a crime scene is among the most important steps in a crime investigation as this is the initial lead linking the victim, crime and the suspect.

Every crime scene is different from the other and it is very difficult to remember each of them correctly. This is the reason every crime scene is recorded in the form of documents, photographs, sketches or videos.

All these methods are traditional in nature and quite time consuming, but now with the advancement in the technology, a 3-D laser scanning system has been developed to document, reconstruct and analyze crime scenes and vehicle crash sites.

The forensic scanner named Leica RTC360 Laser Scanner has been developed by the United States based company- Collision and Crime Forensic Solutions.

The Tyler police department has agreed to purchase the Leica RTC360 Laser Scanner for the documentation of crime scenes.

According to Lt. Donald “Luke” Shafer of Tyler Police Department, currently the investigators use hand measurements, a total station device to measure distances and angles and call on the Texas Rangers for assistance.

While the Leica RTC360 Laser Scanner captures data and documents crime scenes and vehicle crash sites more efficiently and with better accuracy.

The RTC360 forensic scanner is compact, lightweight, sits atop a collapsible tripod, functions in extreme conditions and all environments, and is portable and easily transported in a backpack.

This new technology allows investigators to digitally document a scene and get precise, easily shareable evidence that can be analyzed and presented as scientific evidence in court.

The digital forensic scanner will help the district attorney’s office by allowing them to present a more in-depth case for trial and will also provide the ability to walk jurors through the complex scenes officers work.

The software will be allowing the investigators to integrate video, audio, and photographs to create diagrams and animations. These images can also be used to reconstruct a scene and to develop courtroom presentations.

Shafer said that a 3D model has a bigger impact on viewers than photographs, especially since the scanner can document exactly where each shell casing and victim were located, etc. and it actually gives people the ability to walk through the scene.

The new forensic scanner also consumes time but is better than the traditional methods. The system will take about two minutes per scan, which means for the complicated scene the scan will take around an hour to capture the scene.

The Forensic scanner will be a helping hand to the fire department also, as it has the ability to track burn patterns through a house to show where a fire started.

The officers of the Tyler Police Department and Texas Rangers will be trained for one-week regarding the use and handling of the new scanner.

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