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 6 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 3-man team can obtain the needed information to produce a scale diagram from a crime scene in about 4 hours. It will take about 3 more hours of work by 1 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.