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Shelby County Sheriff’s Office using laser technology to capture crime scenes

New crime scene technology
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 8:31 PM CST
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COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WBRC) - A new piece of technology is proving to be a game changer for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. The Faro 3D Scanner is drastically reducing law enforcement’s time at a crime scene.

It used to take hours to adequately capture a scene. All the details and measurements would be photographed and accessed. Now it is as easy as pushing a button.

“It has given us a whole new perspective of what the crime scene would be,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jason Myrick.

The Sheriff’s Office first acquired the scanner just over a year ago. They have already used it dozens of times at accidents or crime scenes and decided to finally give us a glimpse of it­ in action.

“It is shooting lasers out I mean thousands a second and each one represents a point in space and each one of those points can be measured with in one millimeter of accuracy,” said Captain Myrick.

After the scene is captured from multiple scan points, a process that takes as little 15 minutes. Deputies break the equipment down and head inside to create the 3d renderings.

“It merges the scans together and creates a 3D environment for us,” said one Shelby County Sheriff’s Office employee.

Each scan takes approximately ten minutes. The more scans that are done, the more accurate a scene and it only takes about twenty minutes to combine the scans afterwards.

“Previously with a sketch it would have taken hours to document all that,” said another employee.

Deputies can also add pictures, measurements and notes to the 3D model. It not only saves time at the crime scene, but allows law enforcement to analyze a crime scene that occurred months or even years prior.

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