The California Highway Patrol (CHP) purchased five Leica Geosystems HDS ScanStation laser scanners and accompanying Cyclone software. This major endorsement of 3D laser scanning by law enforcement should heighten awareness and accelerate investment in the technology by similar agencies across the U.S.
The CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT), which conduct in-depth investigations and analyses of major traffic collisions, will use the technology to document severe and complex accidents involving multiple fatalities, officer-involved shootings or officer injuries. Lieutenant David Fox, MAIT program coordinator, says this will help his unit carry out its mission of documenting accident scenes quickly, accurately and completely while re-opening roadways sooner than before.
Tony Grissim, Leica Geosystems’ law enforcement account manager, notes that laser scanning lets first responders document complete accident scenes in 3D, then use the resulting data to create scene diagrams, reconstruct bullet trajectories, and help verify or disprove witness accounts. “Another developing trend,” he observes, “is for police agencies to deploy Leica Geosystems scanners as part of a broader risk management strategy for investigations concerning offer-involved shootings, which sometimes result in costly litigation.”
Leica Geosystems HDS, a Technical Advisor to the International Association of Forensic and Security Metrology, Inc. (IAFSM) – a nonprofit professional association of users, service providers and manufacturers of metrological techniques and technologies working for the advancement of justice – reports the CHP is drafting procedures and standards for forensic laser scanning to comply with guidelines currently being established by the IAFSM.