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ALEA and SBI train troopers and agents on new devices

These tools will be used to create 2D and 3D diagrams of crash and crime scenes
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Highway Patrol Division (ALEA) and State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) have been training troopers and agents all week on new technology. This will present life like diagrams of crime and crash scenes for investigations.

”We strive every day to be more efficient and effective as an agency,” Phillip Faulkner, senior trooper highway patrol division, said.

ALEA troopers, traffic homicide unit troopers and SBI crime scene technicians have been learning about new tools available to them to gather information; like laser scanners and drone technology. These devices will collect data from crime and crash scenes throughout the state.

“It gives them the ability to go out and actually take the products that we receive in from the FARO scanners and drones and bring it in as CAT and we can actually build 3D animations, we can build Point Cloud virtual reality,” Faulkner said.

This device creates 2D and 3D images that can take the judge and jury right to the scene.

“Exactly how it unfolded and what took place as far as all the elements and the events of the crime scene or crash scene,” Faulkner said. “And any unusual events, national disasters, this program here gives our investigators more advanced tools along with the training that they already have.”

The drone technology provides a larger picture of scenes with better resolution.

“When you take a flight you can look down and you can see a lot more information from the air than you can just from six feet looking down,”Joey Hamilton SBI UAS manager, said. “In particular, shadow marks, skid marks on the highway show, up a lot better from an altitude than they do close to the ground,”

Having this innovative technology available allows precise and realistic information of a scene to be presented in investigations.

“This information, put together with the ground information that our THI guys gather, along with what our FARO scanners do, that is three layers of accuracy you can put them together and it just makes for a better scene altogether,” Hamilton said.

It also speeds up the process.

“We can actually get out to crime scene or crash scene in and out with undo delays, because what we don’t want to do is have a negative economic impact on our commercial motor vehicles or just our citizens in general and by having this product and this capability and this training, not only are we doing that but we actually are not having to have as much man power on the scene,” Faulkner said. “We don’t have to have the delays much longer and then we can take those resources or those troopers or agents and get them back on the road and they can focus more on protecting lives and preventing crashes instead of tied up on the crime scene or the crash scene,” Faulkner said.

Today may have been the last day of the statewide training – but Hamilton said there will be ongoing training with the THI and the drone units to continue to get additional experience with everything they do.

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