Where do the good ideas come from?
In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about—and benefit from—some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.
MapScenes Forensic CAD 2013 Offers New Productivity Tools, Combines Animation, Point Cloud Modules
A new version of the MapScenes System for crash scene mapping and reconstruction, which includes Evidence Recorder (EVR) and Forensic CAD 2013, offers new productivity tools along with two add-on modules. The new modules include an animation module that builds compelling animated reenactments and a point cloud module for drawing features captured via stationary, mobile, or airborne laser scanners.
For Corporal Mary Willis of the Amarillo, Texas, Police Department, the new software has proven to be an easy-to-learn, powerful, and cost-effective mapping tool. She values the software’s ease of working with a crash scene’s mapped points; she simply imports the points and then closes the program, knowing she can return later to quickly complete the diagram. Aiding this effort is the library of codes that can be included with plotted annotations. “This ability is a big factor because it means most of the drawing is completed when we import it,” Corporal Willis said. A library of 7,000 symbols specific to crash and crime scene diagramming, some in 3D, is offered.
The new software communicates with most total stations and data collectors, including the new Leica Nova MS50 MultiStation that combines total station measurements, laser scans, imaging, and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
The ability to rotate a scene in MapScenes EVR is especially powerful, Corporal Willis said, “because it allows you to see the whole scene and all angles so we can make sure we haven’t missed anything [while mapping the scene].”
Corporal Willis also noted that the software’s animation and point cloud modules will be particularly valuable once her department begins using them because they can show views of a scene from various positions of on-scene witnesses. “We know the courts will be demanding this [capability] from us,” Corporal Willis said. “Forensic CAD is an amazing program for this,” added Willis, who also uses the tool for crime scenes such as officer-involved shootings and homicides.
Another advantage of Forensic CAD 2013 is the calculation of coordinates from raw measurement data. “Not only will we have confidence in our abilities and equipment with this feature, but so will the courts,” Corporal Willis said. “That’s going to be a big thing.”
For more information, visit http://www.mapscenes.com/software_cad.php.
Kansas Highway Patrol Rolls out digiTICKET eCitation Solution on Time and within Budget
Saltus Technologies announces that digiTICKET is now installed on approximately 500 Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) laptops, giving state troopers electronic ticketing capability across all 105 district courts in the state. The system is designed to reduce the amount of time needed for the officer to issue one or multiple citations, eliminate data errors, and reduce administrative costs.
KHP selected digiTICKET to maximize both officer and court system efficiency while recovering lost revenue due to clerical or handwriting errors. The solution also increases safety for both the community and law enforcement officers by reducing dangerous roadside time for everyone involved. Additionally, digiTICKET interfaces to the Kansas Law Enforcement Reporting (KLER) system that provides over 60 percent of Kansas transportation crash data to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).
“Saltus worked closely with the KHP and Judicial Branch personnel to implement a system that meets our State’s diverse needs. The deployment time for the rollout was completed in four months,” stated Mark L. Thurman, CIO, Kansas Highway Patrol. “Ultimately, digiTICKET was implemented for the State of Kansas on time and within budget, deployed and in-use by about 500 troopers and 100 plus Kansas District Courts with no major issues to date. Saltus has quickly and satisfactorily addressed all issues as they arose during implementation.”
The KHP has also made digiTICKET available to all local law enforcement agencies in the state through a state contract. Through KHP’s investment in the highly configurable solution, agencies all over the state can realize the same benefits as the KHP.
For more information, visit http://www.saltustechnologies.com.
New World Systems’ CAD provides critical communications for Madison County, Illinois, during Severe Storm
On Friday, May 31, 2013, a large storm brought high winds and tornado-like conditions to Madison County, Illinois. As the storm caused significant damage to power lines, trees, and homes, New World Systems’ Aegis Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) solution provided telecommunicators and first responders with essential communications and response coordination capabilities.
Telecommunicators at the City of Edwardsville Police Department Communication Center, one of the county’s 16 Public Safety Answer Points (PSAPs), took their system down for a short period of time to seek shelter as the storm intensified. Even though Edwardsville does not currently use New World’s software, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Glen Carbon Police Department, through a combination of New World’s CAD and the county’s fiber-optics network kept communications and operations up and running for emergency and non-emergency calls.
“Our self-contained system, up-to-date maps and the ability of the CAD software to handle an increase in activity enables the agencies using New World’s CAD to keep operations running flawlessly for 9-1-1 throughout the County and take over for another center in these situations,” said Terry McFarland, 9-1-1 director for Madison County. “Thankfully, the situation lasted a short time, but the level of confidence in the two systems working in conjunction with each other provides peace of mind and service with minor interruption.”
New World’s software handled the extremely high volume of calls and offered a CAD messaging system that proved vital in keeping track of officers and addressing emergency situations quickly and effectively. Because Madison County maps are up to date and embedded in New World’s CAD, telecommunicators in Glen Carbon and the sheriff’s office were able to access maps and critical location information for Edwardsville as well.
According to Glen Carbon Telecommunicator Coleen Schaller, New World’s software played an instrumental role in their success with the versatility to handle the large-scale incident. “The transition from handling one department to interlinking three was seamless, and the company should be commended on their development of such high-performance software.”
While it was a busy and chaotic time for the county communications centers, fast thinking and the right technology kept emergency operations running smoothly. No lives were lost during the storm.♦
For more information, visit http://www.newworldsystems.com.