New tool helps investigators bring jurors to crime scenes


A new piece of laser-scanning technology purchased by the Sheriff’s Office will help investigators map crime scenes and give jurors well-detailed computer images of the same.


The device is made by a Florida-based tech firm FARO. The scanner rests on a tripod and scans 360-degrees of its surroundings using millions of data points which build a 3D visual color record of a particular space or in this case — crime scene. The device can scan objects more than 200 feet away while maintaining an accuracy rate of within 1 millimeter. It can be used in daylight or darkness and it also takes still photographs.


The 3D image can then be brought up on a computer screen and shown to jurors who will be able to visit a virtual crime scene without leaving the courthouse. Many other law enforcement agencies across the country are currently using the FARO technology.


The Sheriff’s Office purchased the approximately $60,000 piece of equipment using fine and forfeiture funds.


The machine does not replace all traditional investigative work done by detectives, but it does create and extremely reliable record of a scene, particularly should questions arise about distances between objects and so forth.


The device helps put the Sheriff’s Office at the forefront of crime scene investigations technology.


Detectives expect to use the machine in real cases very soon.


“I’m excited this agency has this device, which will help us solve and deter crime,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Staying ahead of the criminals is part of the job we’re in and this technology will help maintain that edge.”