3D camera recreates crime scenes for PPB

PPB Forensic Criminalist Ken Jones sits near the Leica 3D digital laser scanner, which recreates crime scenes for detectives. (May 13, 2013, KOIN 6 News)
PPB Forensic Criminalist Ken Jones sits near the Leica 3D digital laser scanner, which recreates crime scenes for detectives. (May 13, 2013, KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At crime scenes, forensic detectives are often measuring the distance between two points, such as a bullet casing and a car. But the Portland Police Bureau has a 3D digital laser scanner that gives detectives a detailed panorama of the crime scene.

The Leica scanner can measure 50,000 objects in a second. The $100,000 camera was bought with a federal grant last summer and Portland police used it to recreate officer-involved shootings and the Clackamas Town Center shooting.

This Leica 3D digital laser scanner recreates crime scenes for detectives in the Portland Police Bureau. (May 13, 2013, KOIN 6 News)
This Leica 3D digital laser scanner recreates crime scenes for detectives in the Portland Police Bureau. (May 13, 2013, KOIN 6 News)

The camera shows different angles and digitally maps the entire area.

“It allows you to visually move through the scene and records the trajectory of bullets, how did the shooter move through the scene,” PPB Forensic Criminalist Ken Jones told KOIN 6 News.

Another advantage is this camera provides proof a jury may want by freezing the scene where a crime occurred. The laser photos are stitched together by a computer and preserve the details of a crime scene that could be needed years later to solve a cold case or confirm witness claims.

The camera, Jones said, “is about storytelling.”

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