How FARO training is assisting Law Enforcement
Written by David Dustin   

-Sponsored- The number of US Law Enforcement agencies using FOCUS3D laser scanners from FARO® Technologies, Inc. and their robust 3D document and measurement training, is growing at a phenomenal rate. Affordability and portability are key reasons for the scanner’s popularity, but there are other notable reasons to consider.

Anytime an agency has a favorable experience with a particular device or method, they are eager to share with their brothers and sisters; both the measure of that success as well as the vehicle chosen to achieve their desired goals. When they experience a favorable outcome at trial, Grand Jury Hearing or even probable cause hearing and their Laser Scanners have played a part in it, there is a general feeling of accomplishment.

A large part if that success depends on the depth and quality of the training provided to the agency. Ideally this training encompasses all the required aspects of the individual agency and typically there is no "one size fits all" approach that fills that need. Many times the focus will need to be centric to one of the disciplines based on the proportion of one or the other. Add in the different software(s) available to the end users for visualization and the required flexibility of the trainers becomes all the more evident.

The trainers used by FARO are experienced experts in their fields who tailor the training to the specific needs of the agency. For example, if the emphasis is on accident reconstruction the majority of the training will focus on those aspects. Conversely, if Crime Scene Investigation (blood spatter and bullet trajectory analyses) is the driving need, that area will receive the greatest emphasis.

Comprehensive training empowers the students the think outside the box. Case in point would be the Tactical Services Unit in Roswell, NM. .. When presented with the problem of scanning the inside of a vehicle without leaving a void under the scanner, Detective Scott Stevenson put his thinking cap on. Realizing his scanner could scan in any orientation, Detective Stevenson postulated his small portable scanner could be mounted on an articulated device, allowing him clear; easy access to the vehicle interior. With the help of a local machine shop, Detective Stevenson fabricated a scanner mount that would attach to the end of an engine hoist. The creative solution allowed the scanner to be wheeled in through an open vehicle window and scan the interior from multiple locations and without the typical circular void in the data.

Armed with his in-depth training, Sgt. Greg Gravesen of St. Paul, MN Forensic Services Unit, has been scanning scenes for over 2 years and using the data at trial. SGT. Gravesen uses 3ds Max, Crash Zone and FARO's WebShare2go software to present his compelling cases to District Attorneys and juries. Having scanned over 15 homicides/suspicious deaths cases and 25+ Crash Scenes, SGT. Gravesen is one of the areas most experienced users.

The Crime Scene Investigation unit of the Warner Robins Police department has been actively scanning their homicides and severe injury crashes since their training in August of 2014. This seasoned group adapted very quickly to the new technology and has incorporated it into their existing methods. This industrious group has scanned over 12 Homicide/suspicious death and critical injury crashes in the short time since they were trained and have been operational.

The obvious point to be made here is the value of relevant training by established experts in the required disciplines with the added benefit. As important to competent trainers is the receptivity of the trainees. Without exception; the students we have had the privilege to train have been anxious to bring this new ability to fruition in their communities and have become staunch proponents of the FARO products and software.

Law enforcement is a tough job, and I for one am thankful for their dedication, integrity and fortitude in keeping our families safe.

About the Author

David Dustin is the President of Dustin Forensics.


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