WWMT Newschannel 3 - Search Results
Michigan State Police expects greater efficiency with new 3D imaging tool
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Faster felony convictions, fewer traffic jams and fewer tax dollars wasted.
That's what Michigan State Police says it expects from some recently acquired 3D imaging technology.
Troopers got their first look at the new equipment last week and now, Newschannel 3 has gotten a brief tutorial as well.
MSP purchased 8 of the devices, one for each of its accident reconstructionists.
They come with a price tag of about $50,000 a pop. State Police believe each unit will be worth far more than that in the long run.
After decades of accident reconstruction Sgt. Jim Campbell has a new tool.
The instrument is much quicker out on the roadway, Sgt. Campbell explained, showing the device to Newschannel 3. Which means we're going to have to shut the freeways down for less time.
That means fewer delays for everyone, as well as fewer man hours and greater safety for state police.
I can essentially map an entire scene by myself without having a second person that I need to put out in the roadway, he said.
That's just where the benefits begin.
He went on to explain how the data goes into an animation system, where the technology comes to life.
So you put your cars in there and then you can animate them, Sgt. Campbell explained.
Almost any car you can think of, in any scenario physics will allow.
Like a police chase a few weeks ago, which saw a man try to leap from his car and elude police on foot while crossing I-94. It saw a tragic ending.
But Sgt. Campbell says the 3D imaging can help a jury decide whether the driver in any scenario is at fault.
You can put different cameras inside the cars so they can see what the driver may or may not have been able to see at that time, he said.
Investigators determined at highway speeds there was nothing the drivers in this scenario could have done differently.
It may seem like an unneeded convenience, until someone's life is placed in your hands or vice-versa.
It makes it much easier for the jury when they can see something, Sgt. Campbell said. They can feel like they were there, they can understand what it is that really happened and it makes for a better prosecution.
Campbell says this isn't just for crashes, either. Michigan State Police can use it to map out and animate any crime scene to help jurors get a better understanding of the facts.