It may seem like something from a TV show like C.S.I. — a laser scanner that can produce 3-D renderings of scenes of shootings, fatal crashes and suspicious deaths, right here in the Quad Cities.
“Before, if you missed it when you were there the first time, and two weeks later something happens, and you go back, you have to try to work it back in. It’s not going to be as accurate, whereas with this, it’s going to be there, and it saves it indefinitely,” said Corporal Kris Mayer.
For police, hours of taking pictures and measuring points has been reduced to minutes. The scanner was used just the other week at the site of a fatal accident on Rockingham Road.
“We did it with the scanner, we were able to get in and measure the scene in 40 minutes. With a total station, we would have been there for about three hours,” said Mayer.
The Davenport Police Department is the first in the state of Iowa to have this kind of technology, and they’re sharing it with surrounding areas.
“We’ve sent people down to Muscatine for stuff; we’ve got no problem helping each other out,” said Mayer.
Investigators from Bettendorf and Scott County are also trained to use the scanner. One of the biggest benefits, though, could be the ability to present scenes in court.
“You’re always trying to explain to a jury or present to a jury what occurred, or what an officer or a witness at the scene saw. If you’re able to present that scene, and the witness is able to describe and see that scene, that’s much better for a jury. It’s much better evidence,” said Scott County Attorney Mike Walton.
The scanner, software and training cost more than $71,000, but 98 percent of that cost was covered by a grant from the Scott County Regional Authority.