New 3-D scanner to help detectives in Lancaster County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

We see it on TV shows like CSI, using the latest technology to help solve crimes. Well it’s now coming to the Lancaster County Major Crimes Unit.

Officials are getting a laser shooting scanner that will help them during criminal investigations. Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman says this is a game-changer. “It’s going to save us a lot of time and provide a lot more ability for us to get justice done in the courtroom,” he added.

The scanner will record 3-D panoramic images of a crime scene by shooting rapid-firing lasers at 360 degrees. The scanner creates a virtual detailed depiction of the scene and then used as evidence when presented to a jury during a trial.

“Juries will be able to see it. It’s important to them and there may be something that we didn’t know was important when we’re processing the scene initially and then maybe six months later it is and we can go back and see was it actually there,” Stedman added.

It will replace older methods like pictures and blue prints. “They’ll be some crime in the future that maybe we would have missed something just with traditional photograph methods that we can go back and see something,” said Stedman.

Officials also plan on using it in public spaces like buildings, parks, accident scenes and in a long term measure, throughout schools in Lancaster County. “So if God forbid there’s an incident at a school, our SWAT team or CERT team will then have 3-D images of the school layout before they even go in.”

The scanner was paid for through a $150,000 grant from the state. There will be one scanner for the entire county. It’s expected to be here by January.