The Leica Geosystems Ready Room provides public safety professionals and forensic science service providers with news, commentary and best practice information.
By Ken Jones
Over the last few years, policing in the U.S. has become more difficult and much more stressful. Many Americans believe that law enforcement officers are electing to use lethal force without appropriate justification, and that perception is causing a festering of doubt in our judicial system.
This growing lack of faith in the judicial review of use-of-force investigations, I believe, contributes to the targeting of law enforcement professionals and places a great number of officers in harm’s way. Consider these chilling figures: According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, of the 67 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during the first half of 2016, 21 percent (14 fatalities) were ambush-style attacks on unsuspecting officers (compared to three in the same period of 2015). Continue reading
CSI Karen Livengood, of the Orlando Police Department Crime Scene Unit, is generally cautious when it comes to new technology. She doesn’t like buying anything that she can’t verify for herself. When she was tasked with researching laser scanning technology for her unit, she wanted to see how the scanners would perform in a true-to-life scene before she could believe all the claims. Continue reading
Member of National Commission on Forensic Science Presents on Verifiable, High-Accuracy Laser Scanning at HxGN LIVE 2016
Attendees of the Leica Geosystems forensic track at HxGN LIVE 2016 in June were treated to an insider’s perspective on the workings of the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) when Dean Gialamas, Division Director for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Technology and Support Division, shared his views on "How Verifiable, High-Accuracy Laser Scanning Can Conform to National Forensic Science Reforms for Crime Scene Investigations." Director Gialamas previously served as the Crime Lab Director for both the LASD and the Orange County Sheriff’s Departments and currently serves as one of just six people with forensic practitioner experience on the 30-member NCFS. Continue reading
Sergeant Mike Miller’s cruiser was positioned on southbound Interstate 75 about 20 yards away from the Hopple Street overpass in downtown Cincinnati. He was working as an off-duty safety officer the night of January 19, 2015, while lane closures were in place for the demolition of the obsolete left exit ramp off northbound I-75. “There were cones and barrels set up,” said Miller, supervising sergeant of the Cincinnati Police Department’s Homicide Unit and Criminalistics Squad, “but my car was like the physical barrier with its flashing lights and the big fat POLICE on the side that would make sure motorists slowed down.” Continue reading
When Detective Frank McDonagh, of the Albany Police Department in New York, was assigned to the Forensic Investigation Unit two-and-a-half years ago, the unit had recently transitioned from total station to a Leica ScanStation high-definition 3D laser scanner. It was a welcome change for McDonagh, who now leads the unit’s scan team. “I see the product that the total station puts out compared to the product the scanner puts out,” McDonagh said, “and the scanner is amazing.” Continue reading
When Sgt. Timothy Dowd arrived in Watertown, Mass., four days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the residential neighborhood was swarming with police. Everyone was looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Just hours before, an early morning firefight had taken place on the streets of Watertown with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brothers wanted for the bombing and the subsequent murder of MIT patrol officer Sean Collier. After his brother was killed, Dzhokhar fled the scene on foot. Continue reading
If laser scanning is used to capture a crime scene, and the data is used for scientific analysis and subsequently presented as evidence in a criminal trial, what are the requirements for accuracy and precision? Are all laser scanners up to the task? How can the instrument be validated? Michael Cunningham, a retired CSI specialist from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and author of the textbook, “Crime Scene Unit Management: A Path Forward,” addresses key questions in this hard-hitting interview. Continue reading
A demo of laser scanning by former crime scene and forensic science investigator Ryan Rezzelle on the National Sheriffs' Association Facebook page has been extremely popular this week, drawing nearly 3,000 views and dozens of comments and shares. Recorded live during the NSA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, the video shows Rezzelle conducting a 58-second scan with the Leica ScanStation PS40 and highlighting representative 2D and 3D exhibits that can be created from the point cloud data. View the video here: http://leica.gs/7kEXT Continue reading
by Ryan Rezzelle
I recently ran a post on the weather durability of the Leica ScanStation Px line (P16, P30, P40) and really for all of Leica's mapping products as the weather durability (IP rating) is phenomenal across the board. You can read my original post here, which includes a description of IP ratings. Following this post, I heard both directly and through the grapevine from several detractors of this piece to three main points:
- It wasn't raining hard enough!
- Let's see the raw data so we can see for ourselves!
- The data quality is questionable—the rain would cause refraction of the laser!
I'm here again to address these statements. Continue reading