Crime Watch 8

Johnson County buys 3D tech to re-create crime scenes

New 3D scanner for police investigations in Johnson County, Indiana

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — The Johnson County Sheriff’s department has a new piece of equipment that they say is going to change the way they investigate certain crimes.

They can start using the new device this week. The FARO Focus can take a 3D image that the Sheriff’s Department says will be extremely useful in their investigations.

“So we can actually go relive the scene unlike we have ever been able to do in the past,” said Johnson County Deputy Chief Andrew Barnhart.

FARO Application Specialist Will Pitarello said, “It sends millions of points in the space and everything that it sees in a 350 meter range, it collects the 3D information of that point.”

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The photos and evidence derived from the FARO software can be used as evidence in court.

“Where the body fell. Where the trajectory of the bullet changed. Where was the direction of the car when it came. These are things that cannot be captured in a picture,” the application specialist said.

The 3D images taken from this device have an accuracy rate of 1 millimeter.

The deputy chief said, “What this does is instead of taking just a few dozen measurements, it takes tens of thousands of measurements,” .

The device, software and other equipment and training cost about $64,000. It was paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and a loan from the Johnson County Board of Commissioners.

“When we were looking at the different types of things that we do and what we spend our time on: accident investigations and reconstruction is one of the most important things and one of the most time consuming things,” the deputy chief said.

Investigators can often run into issues if they need more evidence or information from a crime scene after the initial investigation.

“By that point, the scene is already cleaned up, the cars are gone, all the debris is cleaned up, marks may or may not be there,” Barnhart said.

The device will allow them to store that information in a 3D re-creation and have it at the click of a button.

The Sheriff’s Department says four investigators have been trained on the software and that the next time an opportunity presents itself that calls for FARO Focus, they plan to use it.