The Springfield Police Department has recently added a Total Station to the Traffic Section of the police department. The Total Station uses surveying technology to obtain the needed information from a crime scene to produce a scale diagram. Currently there are six officers trained to use this equipment.
Funds from a grant were used to purchase this equipment. Seized funds were used to purchase a 1999 Ford Explorer to transport this equipment to any crime scene.
The advantage of a Total Station for our department will be realized in several ways:
- The accuracy of detail in the diagram is greatly improved.
- The time spent collecting this evidence will be reduced. A three-man team can obtain the needed information to produce a scale diagram from a crime scene in about four hours. It will take about three more hours of work by one of the officers to produce the diagram. This is a great improvement over past methods which sometimes took weeks before a diagram was produced.
- Road intersections and city-owned properties can be surveyed and the information stored ahead of time and used as needed.
- The Total Station software is expandable. In the future as more training is obtained, it may be possible to use animation to recreate crime scenes.
Although not a traffic safety tip, this is important information for the citizens of Springfield. We are always striving to improve the department by updating our work methods and utilizing new equipment.