A New High-Tech Beverly Hills Cop

You might call it a high-tech detective. A laser camera/scanner that can map crime and traffic accident scenes in record time. Made by a German company, the Faro Focus 3D Scanner can scan a scene up to 1000 feet in any direction. Officer Mike Sholley with the Beverly Hills Police Department says with the device you can map "an entire city block" and get some very detailed images.

Sholley says they've already used the laser camera in real crimes like an officer involved shooting and a pursuit both last December. And, instead of standard measuring and pencil sketches the Faro, he says, can do the job in about a 5th of the time of old school methods.

Says Sholley, "It will scan to within plus or minus two milimeters. I would scan shell casings like in a gun used in a crime. Each time it scans it photographs" afterwhich they add color to the image.

It hasn't happened yet, but Sholley says such mapping could bring a different dimension to court cases allowing juries to better understand aspects of crime scenes... even years after the crime.

Sholley says, in Los Angeles County BHPD is the first police department to have this model of the device although other departments, like Long Beach, have older models.

For the equipment and training the cost to BHPD was $100,000. To Sholley, it's worth the price.

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