Crash Investigators are using Total Station and 3-D Imaging

Crash Investigators are using Total Station and 3-D Imaging

GALESBURG- Investigation of traffic collision is quite a challenging task for investigators across the world. Introduction of new technological tools (total station) are truly effective in documentation of crash and crime scenes along with solid forensic training and skills of investigation team.

total-station-crash-investigation-210x210But Total Stations, a 3-D imaging computer program shared by the Knox County Sheriff Department and Galesburg Police Department, provides investigators with quick, accurate and detailed representations of accident scenes that proves the old adage: “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

“It can be hard to explain to someone what’s in your mind’s eye,” said Sgt. Bart Randall of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department. “But now you can just show someone your interpretation of the accident.”

Randall was instrumental in securing a $15,000 federal grant to obtain the computer imagining system. Through the use of satellites, digital surveying equipment and computer software, officers can take specific measurements and generate a three-dimensional image precise enough to show dips, bumps and curves in the terrain.

“We could map out each brick in this room if we wanted to,” said GPD officer Terry Boynton, who is the only GPD officer trained on how to use the software. Currently, two other Knox County deputies are also trained on the software.

The program, which is produced by a British Columbia-based company, has been in use in both county and city car accident and collision investigations since October 2012, and Boynton believes the program’s biggest benefit is removing that element of human error.

“It’s an enhancement,” said Boynton, who added Total Station doesn’t fundamentally change how investigators work the scene of an accident, but instead acts a tool for law enforcement to provide attorneys, juries and judges with accurate representations of a car crash.

“You actually get to see what occurred,” Boynton said. “The program puts everything into scale.”

Boynton also said the element of 3-D has been of great use to investigators, who can examine any computer-generated model from a number of angles or vantage points.

“The 3-D element makes it (the program) really superior,” said Boynton, who recalled the investigation of an accident where the program allowed himself and other investigators to determine the speed at which the accident occurred — as well as the orientation of the vehicle involved — in a relatively short amount of time and with a high-level of exactness.

While the program has been a boon to investigative work at the city and county level, Randall said actually putting the program into use was challenging. The county received federal grant money to purchase the software and conduct officer training on it a full year before Total Station was implemented, a delay which Randall attributed to scheduling complications for the mandatory training.

However, after more than a year of use, Randall believes the implementation of Total Station has provided investigators with a greater piece of mind when they sit down to recreate the scene of an accident.


Source: The Register-Mail

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  1. Jessi
    Jessi 28 May, 2014, 15:57

    Total Station has provided investigators with a greater piece of mind when they sit down to recreate the scene of an accident.Thanks for sharing..I like all information..

    Reply this comment

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