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San Antonio Police Department deploys 3-D laser scanner to enhance Homeland Security and CSI capabilities

Written by PSIT Staff

Declaring that the department’s Leica 3-D laser scanning system “will revolutionize the way we conduct operations and investigations,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus described it as “the future of information collection and preservation.” The SAPD purchased a Leica Geosystems ScanStation 2 using grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Leica ScanStation 2 can be used for forensic mapping at crash and homicide scenes, officer-involved shootings, bomb/arson investigations and can also support the homeland security mission. “This extremely versatile 3-D laser scanning system has many capabilities, which include scanning, analyzing, measuring and diagramming scenes. It will help with everything from homeland security vulnerability and threat assessment planning, to crime scenes and, ultimately, forensic presentation in court,” McManus said. Developed for versatility and productivity, the long-range, high-accuracy laser scanner is able to collect 50,000 measurements per second, enabling crime scene investigators to “freeze the scene in time.”

Investigators will use the Leica ScanStation 2 to photograph and laser scan (measure) a crime scene. An embedded, high-resolution digital camera within ScanStation 2 provides detectives with valuable photos of the scene which can be used to aid in scanning and data processing. Once the data is gathered, the scanning software produces diagrams, 3-D scene reconstructions and other important documentation necessary to every crime scene investigation.

“The ScanStation 2 is used all over the world by the private sector to image, map and analyze critical infrastructure. Public safety agencies are recognizing that scanning can be a powerful homeland security tool to aid in the prevention of, protection against, response to and recovery from terrorist acts,” said Tony Grissim, public safety and forensic account manager for Leica Geosystems. “The traffic we are seeing on our Web site tells us that interest in our solution is keen and growing.”

With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers, supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries, and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

Published in Public Safety IT, Jul/Aug 2010

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