How technology is helping Aurora Police investigate crime scenes

AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department has three FARO units, which can essentially map a scene by creating millions of data points using a laser reflected off a rotating mirror.

The device captures hundreds of still images to create a 3D replica of a traffic accident, murder or officer-involved shooting. Within minutes, it scans the entire scene and creates a computer-generated image. The old method would require a handful of officers to take photographs and measurements by hand.

Once the data is collected, this will allow investigators to take measurements and evidence, such as bullet trajectory, perform blood spatter analysis without having to go back to the scene.

Kimberly Gilbreath, a crime scene investigator with Aurora Police, said this technology saves time and man hours in the unit.

“Since you’re using this technology, it’s getting accurate measurements. It’s a lot easier instead of doing it by hand. There’s a little more room for error if we use it by hand, this [technology] is more precise, and it requires far more measurements than we would probably do on a stage.”

According to Aurora Police, the device can also be displayed in a courtroom if charges are filed.

“If they use it in court, it can put jurors at the crime scene. They can get a 360° view and see different angles, different perspectives,” Gilbreath said.

By 2024, the department plans to add more FARO units to assist investigators.

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