Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams Ensure Accuracy and Speed When Opening a Scene by Using Leica ScanStation
(Norcross, Ga., 08 November 2006) Today, Leica Geosystems announced that the company has been awarded a contract to supply high-definition surveying equipment to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT), a specialized unit of the CHP, conducts in-depth investigations and analyses of major traffic collisions throughout the state. The MAIT studies environmental, human and mechanical factors that may have contributed to collisions, with the ultimate objective being the utilization of these identified causal factors in the prevention of similar incidents. MAIT officers are trained in the physics of collision analysis and reconstruction, and they use Leica Geosystems’ surveying equipment in order to map collision scenes. The team recently purchased five Leica ScanStation 3D laser scanners and accompanying Cyclone software in order to document severe and complex accidents involving multiple fatalities, officer-involved shootings or officer injuries.
"When we get a call-out to a scene, our goal is to quickly, accurately and completely document it," said Lieutenant David Fox, MAIT program coordinator. "The Leica ScanStation allows us to do that and get the roadway open sooner. We were looking for a scanner that combines high-accuracy, long-range, full field-of-view and dual-axis compensation, which allows our officers to use it like a surveyor’s total station. The Leica ScanStation fulfills all these requirements. This, along with the excellent technical support we have always received from Leica Geosystems, has enhanced our ability to get the job done."
The CHP MAIT have long used Leica System 1200 survey-grade GPS and total stations for major accident investigations. With this purchase, the CHP will have a full complement of Leica Geosystems measurement tools for their investigations.
“The ScanStation has the ability to essentially digitize and record in 3D, an entire scene exactly the way the first responder found it. This can be done day or night, indoors or out. Using the point cloud, investigators can quickly create detailed scene diagrams, reconstruct bullet trajectories and verify or disprove witness statements regarding what they saw. Another developing trend is for police agencies to deploy Leica Geosystems scanners as part of a broader risk management strategy for investigations concerning officer-involved shootings, which sometimes result in costly civil litigation,” said Tony Grissim, Leica Geosystems’ law enforcement account manager.
The CHP is drafting procedures and standards for forensic laser scanning to comply with the guidelines currently being established by the International Association of Forensic and Security Metrology (IAFSM), a recently formed non-profit professional association of users, service providers and manufacturers of metrological techniques and technology working for the advancement of justice. The president of the IAFSM is Captain Larry Sonntag, head of the Scientific Evidence Division of the Albuquerque Police Department, which also uses the Leica ScanStation for crime scene investigation (CSI). Leica Geosystems is a charter member of the IAFSM and provides input to the association membership in their role as technical advisors.
Leica Geosystems – when it has to be right
With almost 200 years of pioneering solutions that measure the world, Leica Geosystems’ products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.
Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 2,400 employees in 22 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.