New Dothan C.S.I. Equipment

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Dothan police will soon be using new equipment at the scene of an accident.

It's called forensic mapping and using precise measuring technology, it allows investigators to piece together how and where a crash took place.

Sergeant Tim Ward, of the Dothan Police Department said, "We'll be able to take this equipment get that diagram done, and we'll be able to animate it and make a 3-d video of the traffic crash, and be able to use that for presentation in court."

Using digital photos and maps, this equipment will also allow police to reconstruct every detail in a crime scene.

"We can recreate crime scenes, and do certain things in those crime scenes,” said Sgt. Ward.

For example, in the case of a shooting, police will be able to determine how a person was shot and from what angle the bullet hit.

They'll also be able to map out every building or object in the area surrounding a crime scene.

Forensic Mapping Solutions consultant, Mick Capman said, "What's being provided more and more are computer animation programs that will allow officers, in real time, illustrate facts that were observed from physical evidence at the scene."

If this program seems familiar, Forensic Mapping Solutions, that's because it is.

It is used in popular television crime shows like "C.S.I. Miami" and "N.C.I.S."

It was also used to investigate the massacre at Columbine High School, the sniper shootings in Washington D.C. and the crash of Flight 93 on 9/11.

And authorities say one of the biggest benefits of this equipment is that it helps them investigate a crime scene a whole lot faster.

Lt. Roy Woodham, of the Dothan Police Department said, "This technology allows us to do the same thing with a lot less time, it also identifies things in a lot less time."

After an investigation is over police will now have a visual computer model for a judge and jury to see, when the case goes to trial.

Dothan police officers just recently finished training with the new equipment. They say they expect to get the swing of it in the very near future.

The equipment and the training necessary to learn how to operate it cost the police department $18,000.