Portland police crime scene investigation goes high-tech - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland police crime scene investigation goes high-tech

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Imagine being able to go back to a crime scene weeks after it's gone. Portland police have a new high-tech tool that allows them to do just that and it's the only department in the Northwest that has it.

The Lecia C-10 scanner is a surveying instrument used to design things like bridges. Law enforcement agencies have found a new use for it and it's making a big impact on crime scene investigations.

"The example is if were to measure how far my chair was from the wall, I'm taking one measurement. In that time it takes me to make that one measurement, [the scanner] does 50,000 measurements in one second," said criminalist Ken Jones with the Portland Police Bureau. "It's just an important tool in our toolbox."

Jones said all the measurements add up to 3-D images of crime scenes.

"A district attorney or an investigator at their desk can bring this up and actually communicate much quicker how an event unfolded," Jones said.

The bureau took the technology to Clackamas Town Center after the deadly shooting last year. A series of 13 scans took nine hours, but allowed investigators to re-examine the scene multiple times from multiple angles - all from a computer. Jones said that's how investigators determined the path of the gunman and the trajectory of his bullets.

"The Leica is just a better way of doing it through digital means," Jones said.

The device is still more likely to be seen at a construction site, but Jones estimated 100 agencies around the country are using the device and that number is expected to grow.

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