Crime Scene Investigators Receive Training on New Total Work Station
Crime scene and accident reconstruction has been described as a life-size jigsaw puzzle. It involves physical evidence, scientific methods as well as deductive and inductive reasoning. It is SCPD’s job to assemble the pieces in the correct order so the picture becomes clear to answer critical questions.
The Santa Clara Police Department recently purchased a new Total Work Station used to survey crime scenes and fatal accidents with computer technology. It is a theodolite, an instrument used to measure vertical and horizontal angles, mounted on a tripod, similar to a tripod-mounted camera. It also includes an infrared electronic distance meter to measure distances from the mounted station to a rod-mounted prism placed over an object. Any data from the device is stored electronically.
“As you can imagine, this technology has changed investigations significantly,” said Police Chief Mike Sellers. “A Total Work Station reduces the time a roadway must be closed to investigate a fatal traffic accident and therefore reduces the delay for commuters or the potential for additional accidents. It also cuts down on the time to reconstruct a crime scene on paper. Before this software, the crime scene had to be drawn by hand.”
California Surveying and Drafting supply is on hand this week training SCPD’s collision investigators on this new technology (Trimble SX10).