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Johnson County Sheriff's Office upgrades investigations with 3-D technology

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Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 06:59:27-05

JOHNSON CO. — The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has a new piece of technology that they say will help them clear crash and crime scenes a lot faster.

"It shows the length is 20.60 feet between that spot on the bumper and the front of that bumper," said Chief Deputy Andy Barnhart.

He said he's excited about the county's newest piece of technology, the FARO 3-D Scanner.

The new scanner is designed to help investigators clear the scene of a crash or a crime scene a lot quicker than they do now.

"The way we do it now, we have a laser data collector machine, and it involves taking a reflector and holding it at important points on the scene," Barnhart said. "It usually takes several hours three or four hours sometimes to do a crash scene, and then we are only collecting a few dozen measurements with this new technology we'll be able to collect tens of thousands of points of measurement."

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Barnhart showed me how it works with this simulated crash. He said the picture looks pixelated but it's actually not and what you are seeing are all the measurements the FARO Scanner took. He said this new technology won't just benefit the department but the entire community.

"if it's a criminal case, if there is alcohol involved or something like that where someone is going to be charged with a crime related to a crash then this will help recreate that scene in the software for court," said Barnhart.

A piece of equipment like this isn't cheap, and it's actually in the range of about $60,000. Barnhart said they didn't have to touch their own budget to get it.

"We spoke with the county commissioners, and they actually had a chunk of many set aside for technology-related improvements within various departments, and they decided to let us use that bond money to pay for this," said Barnhart.

Investigators in Johnson County are now trained to use the FARO scanner, and Barnhart said they are ready to see how it can help them with their investigations.

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