High-tech scanning system keeps record of scenes for Arlington PD

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 7:09 AM

ARLINGTON -- When the crime tape goes up, the search for clues begins, and in Arlington, a new high-tech tool is giving detectives an edge.

"It is a laser scanner we use to document and measure crime scenes," said Sgt. Jeff Davis from the Arlington Police Department.

The Leica C10 ScanStation is a high-definition, 3D laser scanner that captures a 360-degree image of an incident, in darkness or daylight. Its range is 900 feet. It freezes a crime scene exactly the way it was discovered.

"Where the cars were, where the debris ended up, where the body was, where the weapon was -- anything seen by the scanner we will have," Davis said.

Arlington police have deployed the system to 15 incidents so far, including one on Waverly Drive last June, where an elderly couple was killed. It also scanned a deadly chain-reaction crash and shooting nearly a year ago.

Davis added that having access to the scene as it was days, months, or years after, is extremely valuable.

"If something comes up later, then we are able to go back to the scan and extract that information," Davis said.

The department also used the system at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The HD-3D look into the stadium took six hours. With photographs and measurements, it would have taken six days.

The ballpark scan and others of popular Arlington venues can be used for tactical training.

Investigators are looking forward to taking some of their footage to the courtroom. It can be shown to a jury, placing them at the scene.

"Traditionally, what the jury would see would be a series of photographs and a two-dimensional diagram," Davis said. "A jury will be able to basically walk through the scene as we saw it."

The scanner costs around $250,000. Grant money the department received from Homeland Security paid for it.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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