New Technology Brings More Accuracy to Processing Crime Scenes

It’s an item every police department would want on its wish list.

The Leica P-20 3-D Laser Scanner is a $147,000 machine. It’s created to scan its surroundings and form a 3-D image based on the data it collected.

“What we can do with that is actually document crime scenes and actually make very specific measurements,” said Matthew Mizell, a training instructor for Leica Geosystems, “and have a real time capture of a scene, as it exists before it’s disturbed, for presentation of that site or scene or what have you later on.”

That image could be used for police to further analyze the original scene. It could also be used in the courtroom.

“We can try to give the realest possible view to the jurors or the judges, real time or as pristine as you can from any scene,” Utica Police Lt. Steven Hauck said, “so they can see it first hand how it looked when the police got there.”

This type of equipment isn’t easily attainable, as it is very expensive. The city’s common council is bonding to purchase this equipment. New York State Police have a 3-D scanner, but it’s an older version. Utica’s police are the first in the region to have this type of technology.

“People do expect that if the technology does exist, they want you to have it and they expect it,” Hauck said.

This week, several Utica police officers are being trained to use the new scanner. Officials say they expect to share this technology with other nearby police departments to assist with investigations.

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