Author Topic: Flint, MI Finds Power in EVR, Capture  (Read 23847 times)

Bob Galvin

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Flint, MI Finds Power in EVR, Capture
« on: September 19, 2011, 04:01:42 PM »
-by Robert Galvin

The Flint, Michigan, Police Department's Traffic Division oddly enough spends much of its time measuring not crash incidents, but crime scenes. That's because crime in Flint is high. For example, in 2010 there were 66 homicides within 12 months.

No shortage of crime scenes means veteran police Sgt. Dave Forystek, a traffic division member, stays busy since he measures nearly all of the large scenes. To accomplish this, the sergeant uses a Sokkia SRX5 fully-robotic, single-operator total station with Archer Field PC, MapScenes Evidence Recorder Version 7.0, and MapScenes Forensic CAD software.

Combined, these tools make a potent method for thoroughly measuring and mapping the larger evidence-rich crime scenes in Flint. A typical scene will be filled with any variety of evidence, including bullet casings from shootings, blood spatter, bodies, and holes in a wall or car door. The Sokkia total station cuts manpower in half, and can shoot a scene of up to 1500 feet requiring one operator. Evidence is recorded by the total station, then the Archer Field PC measures the evidence points and reports them to the MapScenes Evidence Recorder attached to the Sokkia unit. Finally, the points are downloaded into MapScenes Forensic CAD, usually in 3D to clearly show scene evidence, vertical mapping details such as blood spatter, and bullet trajectories, among other details.

For Sgt. Forystek, the Evidence Recorder's ability to show scene points and line work as he shoots is a huge advantage because there are no missed points. And the 3D view feature on Evidence Recorder yields essential visual verification of point elevations.

As for Mapscenes Forensic CAD, Sgt. Forystek calls it a "very powerful drawing engine." For example, "When you get into Mapscenes CAD, if the evidence has been collected properly, you can really do some great things to show different surfaces and how bullets have traveled through them, or how they may have affected a crash scene," Sgt. Forystek said.

Still another way 3D views are accomplished is with the MapScenes Capture animation software, which Sgt. Forystek has started using. He considers this tool a great way to test theories about how crashes and crimes unfolded at their scenes.

"You're visualizing it (the crash or crime event), input your computed positions, speed, and time and the software can provide a 3D animation," said Sgt. Forystek. "To be able to show a shooter and how he moved, or how somebody was running and a bullet hit him and where he fell is powerful," the sergeant added. "I see this coming out of Capture down the road. It will be monumental for a jury to see something like this."
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 04:06:32 PM by Bob Galvin »