Bexar County’s criminal investigators soon will have cutting-edge help as they comb through crime scenes: a 3-D, computerized laser scanning system.
County commissioners approved the $207,000 purchase Tuesday.
“This is state-of-the-art equipment,” said Jose Treviño, the Sheriff’s Office homicide supervisor. “This will provide much more accurate data, and much quicker, to investigators at the scene.”
The system, which will be operational by March, takes a 3-D electronic photograph that plots objects in a 360-degree scan.
The unit “will all but eliminate human error” when it comes to measuring and plotting crime scene evidence, Treviño said.
“Eliminating the human error means you’ll have much greater chance that evidence won’t be missed,” he added. “It also guarantees much more accuracy in documenting the evidence’s location.”
Law enforcement officials say they plan to use the tool to probe major incidents, such as bank robberies, homicides and large-scale traffic accidents.
The Leica Geosystems scanner the county is purchasing is similar to but newer than scanners used at Fort Hood to gather evidence in the shooting massacre that killed 13 people last month. A similar device also was used to reconstruct the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007.
Under a regional contract, surrounding counties and municipalities also will have access to the equipment, said Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz.
In other business, the commissioners were briefed on a project that will allow county residents to electronically request and track work orders for repairs to roads, sidewalks, bridges, signs and drainage structures.
Once operational, residents can access the Public Works Citizens Request Portal to create an electronic work request. The system also will provide status reports on all pending projects on a given street or in a neighborhood, said County Engineer Renee Green.
She said the public will be able to access the program starting Jan. 4.