The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department recently purchased a machine to help spot evidence with any sort of investigation.
Major John Boyd told WKVI that the sheriff’s department partnered with the LaPorte County Prosecuting Attorney’s office to purchase a 3D crime scene and accident scene forensic scanner.
“It measures crime scenes in a manner that we could never do it efficiently before,” said Boyd. “Each scan, that takes approximately three minutes, can measure 11 million points. What it does is it recreates a crime scene, not only for investigators, but it also can key in on key evidence that may have previously been missed.”
Boyd added that it can be vital in investigating beyond the crime scene.
“It can be used to corroborate witness statements, victim statements and suspect statements as well. It paints a picture for our courts, our prosecutor, defense attorneys, and juries as well. It’s very instrumental in the prosecution of crimes.”
The technology of the scanner can be really helpful at accident scenes to assist officers.
“You consider that it has the capability of documenting, photographing and measuring 11 million different points in one, three minute scan it really is amazing – the technology.”
Boyd says it’s amazing what the scanner will pick up in terms of possible evidence.
“We can take a scan from several different angles within a home or even if it’s something that’s happened out on the highway or an outdoor scene we can take measurements and what’s important is we don’t always know as investigators at the scene of a crime or crash what may be important evidence. There are obviously some pretty obvious things that are important to us but we may not catch the importance until after we have an opportunity to interview a victim, interview witnesses or a suspect and may not have realized the importance of something that may have been at a crime scene. When we go back and look at the 3D scan and there the evidence is, we can actually put it in relation to perhaps where a crime occurred.”
The scanner could rule out whether or not a witness actually saw what they are telling police what happened in an incident.
This scanner is the only one of its kind in the state and officers are currently being trained on how to use the machine. The Indiana State Police are sending officers through the training and Boyd said they are looking to buy six scanners to use statewide. Boyd added that the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is a pilot for use of this instrument.
The $70,000 scanner was purchased through user fees collected through the prosecutor’s office and commissary money.