Presentation Highlights Development of Scene-Measuring Technology

At the 7th Annual Tri-Division Educational Conference hosted by the Nevada State Division of the International Association for Identification (NSDIAI), Frank J. Hahnel, III, Accident Investigation Account Manager at Leica Geosystems, will join crime scene documentation specialist and consultant Kent E. Boots to present "From Hand Held Distos, to Total Stations, GPS, and 3D Laser Scanners: The Benefits of Documenting Crime Scenes with Advanced Electronic Measuring Devices".

Attendees at the 7th Annual Tri-Division Educational Conference in North Las Vegas will have the opportunity of hands on training with assorted measuring equipment, including the Leica Geosystems ScanStation 3D laser scanner, and they will learn how these advanced pieces of equipment can have a beneficial impact on crime scene documentation.

"By allowing law enforcement to have hands-on time with the technology, they are able to appreciate the leaps that have occurred over the last few years. When compared to using a roll measure wheel or tape measure, this technology has undoubtedly advanced the science of crime scene documentation and helped with the ‘CSI Effect’ seen in today’s court rooms,” said Hahnel. “I thoroughly enjoy providing this educational opportunity to those law enforcement personnel in uniform who are working on active crime and crash scenes on a daily basis.”

In 2001, Hahnel aided various government agencies at the World Trade Center and Pentagon attack sites. His photographs, laser scanning data, and personal recollections of that work were the basis of a 2011 three-part article in Professional Surveyor Magazine. He has also worked with numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, aiding them in the 3D Laser Scanning of their crime and crash scenes.

Hahnel will conduct the seminar with crime scene documentation specialist Kent E. Boots, founder of Boots has more than 18 years experience in traffic collision investigation and has previously served on the California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (CAARS) Board of Directors, 2001 to 2010, including a term as President. He is also certified by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) and is a court-recognized expert in forensic mapping, total station technology, and CAD scale diagrams including 3D diagrams.

Although they have been outmoded for several years in conventional surveying and construction work, steel tapes, plumb bobs, and other manual equipment are still the standard in many crime scene documentation departments. Hahnel and Boots will demonstrate the advantages of modern electronic equipment and computer diagramming when doing this vital work, and attendees will be able to do actual measurement work with total stations and laser scanners.

“Law enforcement departments around the world have been doing great work with the equipment they’ve been using for decades,” said Hahnel, “but times change, especially with today’s pressures regarding efficiency and budgets. It is important for forensic experts to be aware of the advantages of modern equipment. If they can do their work faster and with smaller teams, while also eliminating transcription mistakes and other sources of error, why not take advantage of that?”

The seminar will be presented on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, from 1:00−5:00 p.m. at the Aliante Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

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