Techbeat Dated: June 2016 Pages: 3-6
This article from TECHBeat summarizes a January 2016 report - "Landscape Study on 3D Crime Scene Scanning Devices" - issued by the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) to assist public-safety departments make decisions about the purchase and implementation of this technology.
The report provides a basic understanding of 3D laser scanning instruments; their uses, benefits, and limitations; and an impartial comparison of the features and capabilities of commercially available devices. The report contains a chart that compares available devices, and profiles are presented from both manufacturers and users, including lessons learned in the field. It also contains a list of subject-matter experts and stakeholders consulted, a glossary of commonly used terms, and a sample methodology for use. The report cites significant benefits to using 3D laser scanning technology, including accuracy, precision, and objective data collection; and it also is capable of detecting relevant evidence or patterns not otherwise visible. Crime-scene units use 3D laser scanning instruments to gain increased speed and efficiency in obtaining data for bloodstain pattern analysis, shooting-incident reconstruction, traffic- collision data collection, and general crime-scene reconstruction. The technology captures the entire geometry of the scene, ensures longevity in scene preservation, and provides crime-scene analysts with the ability to evaluate the scene and evidence in a holistic manner. It decreases the time required for on-scene traffic-accident investigation and can be used to increase first-responder safety in hazmat events by allowing collection of evidence from a safe distance. Although the technology may be obtained for approximately $50,000, devices with extensive features may cost in excess of six figures. Ways in which smaller agencies might share this cost with other agencies are suggested.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States
Report (Technical Assistance)
United States of America