Lancaster County has been approved for a $229,000 grant that allows local police and prosecutors to photograph crime scenes in 3-D, enabling investigators – and juries – to revisit a scene almost identically to how it originally appeared.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant will fund the purchase of three data collectors – laptop computers – that will pull images from an existing laser scanner for analysis. That provides Lancaster County police and prosecutors with four data collectors to be used for separate major-crime investigations.
Typically, the technology will be used for vehicle crashes that involved major injury or death, and in violent crimes, such as homicides or home-invasion attacks.
Essentially, the scanner and data collectors capture a 3-D image of a crime or crash scene, allowing police to figure out exactly what took place at a location. Prosecutors, in turn, present that scene footage to trial juries.
District Attorney Craig Stedman called the scanner a “revolutionary” tool that plays a crucial part in how police investigate violent crimes and vehicle crashes.
Also, Stedman said, it has major impact on how juries view evidence.
“This allows the jury to walk into a crime scene, virtually, and see for themselves,” Stedman said.
The Lancaster County Commissioners recently approved the creation of the project’s budget.
The grant also allows for the purchase of a camera which will attach to the scanner and enhance images, and two carts that will be used to present the visuals to juries.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright