Point of Beginning

Texas Police Department Adopts 3D Crime-Scene Laser Scanner

November 11, 2008


Norcross, Ga. - The City of Killeen Police Department has become the first police agency in Texas to adopt the Leica ScanStation 2 from Leica Geosystems, a high speed, high definition 3D laser scanning system able to quickly measure crime scenes and support criminal investigations with far greater speed and accuracy than conventional methods.

Developed for versatility and productivity, the mobile laser scanner platform is able to collect 50,000 measurements per second enabling crime scene investigators to “freeze the scene in time”.  As first responders to an event, detectives will use the Leica ScanStation 2 to photograph and laser scan (measure) the scene. An embedded high-resolution digital camera within ScanStation 2 provides detectives with valuable photos of the scene that can be used to aid in scanning and in data processing.   Images are automatically overlaid onto the scan data for compelling results.   Long after the scene has been documented and released, investigators can virtually return to the scene of the crime to make additional measurements or to verify what witnesses could have seen based upon the extremely accurately mapped physical environment.  The data can also be used to create compelling jury exhibits and simulations which enable jurors to easily understand the layout of a crime scene.

Killeen Police Chief, Dennis Baldwin, says, “This will be an invaluable tool for our detectives. In minutes, they can create a highly accurate snapshot of a crime scene exactly as it appears when they arrive on a scene. This information will provide value to the detectives, forensic analysts and ultimately to jurors if a case moves to trial. Every one of our eight detectives will go through training on and have access to this valuable technology.”

A short time after purchasing the Leica ScanStation 2, Killeen police detectives had an opportunity to successfully put the technology to work processing a homicide scene. As the investigation continues, the resulting model is being used to solve the crime and if necessary as evidence in court.

Mike Waldman, Assistant District Attorney for the Bell County District Attorney's Office, adds, “We believe the laser scanner will have powerful investigative benefits to the police department and will also provide long-term legal and prosecutorial value to prosecutors in our legal department.”

“Leica Geosystems’ 3D laser scanning systems are being adopted by more and more law enforcement agencies who recognize that bringing our scanning technology to bear on a case sends a powerful message to everyone that all possible care is being taken to find the truth and catch criminals” said Tony Grissim, Forensic Account Manager for Leica Geosystems.  “The traffic we are seeing on our forensic web site at www.leica-geosystems.com/us/forensic, tells us that interest in our product is keen, especially since it started being showcased on A&E’s “Crime 360”.

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 department’s homeland security mission. The technology has been adopted by law enforcement agencies such as the California Highway Patrol, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.