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Back to Archives | Back to January 2008 Contents 

Advances & Applications

3D Laser Scanning
Bay Area Overpass Collapse Documented with 3D Laser Scanning

Early on Sunday, April 29, 2007, a gasoline tanker truck crashed and burned on a connector ramp near Oakland, California, causing bolts and girders in the overpass above to bend and melt. As a result, the section of the overpass above the crash site collapsed. One of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAITs) headed to the scene to document it using a Leica three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning system. The CHP currently owns five Leica Geosystems ScanStation systems, which it acquired late last year, and five MAITs are trained in their use. Laser scan data captured in this police investigation were able to aid engineers assessing damage to the structure and planning the engineering effort to reopen the roadway.

Because of risk of further collapse as the structure cooled, scanning did not start immediately. But no further collapse occurred, and once it was determined that the structure was relatively stable, MAIT members began scanning in midafternoon. Scanning eventually concluded after midnight.

The CHP’s Lieutenant Fox says that capturing this much detail this rapidly “would not have been possible without laser scanning. We would have taken photographs, then tried to reconstruct a 2D diagram from the photos. But there’s no way we could have captured all the damage without laser scanning.” In highway accident investigations, speed is key. The CHP’s decision to purchase laser scanning equipment last year was driven by the need to complete forensic investigations faster so that roadways can reopen sooner after accidents and criminal investigations.

“Had it not been for laser scanning and the CHP’s agility in deploying it as quickly as they did, they would not have anywhere near the detailed forensic data they were able to capture,” said Tony Grissim, Forensic Account Manager for Leica Geosystems. “This event really showcased the convergence of two important scanning markets, those being forensics and transportation infrastructure. The data collected by the police will also be used by the engineering team.”

For more information, click here and check box 21 in the Reader Service Number response service.

Northrop Grumman Completes Implementation of Los Angeles Emergency Communication System

Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed the installation of a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system for improved emergency response for the City of Los Angeles.

Northrop Grumman’s information technology (IT) sector led the seven-year migration of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) legacy CAD system to an enhanced emergency command control communications system. The implementation included a new CAD system and Northrop Grumman’s CommandPoint Mobile applications.

CommandPoint Mobile interfaces between the command center and field units, providing public safety personnel with easy access to data and field unit status. This is the largest single police department implementation of Northrop Grumman CommandPoint Mobile products in the United States.

“Northrop Grumman brings five decades of experience designing and integrating reliable and progressive technologies for emergency planning and response that will benefit the LAPD and citizens, workers, and visitors to the city,” said John Kavanaugh, vice president of public sector solutions for Northrop Grumman IT. “The LAPD’s state-of-the-art emergency communications center will enable control center personnel to respond more rapidly to emergencies.”

Advantages of the new system include improved response times; better coverage through a secure data network that facilitates the dissemination of data to field operations personnel; access to information via an intranet in more than 1,400 patrol cars; and a mapping capability for enhanced 9-1-1 communications and dispatches.

For more information, click here and check box 28 in the Reader Service Number response service.

BlueStreak Connect Announces Partnership with Drew, Mississippi

BlueStreak Connect announces its partnership with the City of Drew, Mississippi, where the police department will be using BlueStreak’s ConnectSuite solution to overhaul its reporting process and increase the internal visibility of its records system. The implementation of ConnectSuite will also enable the department to share selective electronic information with first responders at the local, state, and federal levels.

Currently, the Drew Police Department relies on a paper-based reporting system, and reports must be accessed and transmitted manually from filing cabinets locked away at headquarters. Once fully implemented, ConnectSuite will digitalize all of the department’s records, making them available in real time to all stationary and mobile units via desktop and laptop PCs. Additionally, once active, ConnectSuite will allow the department to selectively share records with local, state, and federal emergency responders during situations requiring interagency collaboration.

“We are all about saving ourselves time and money, and BlueStreak’s data solution allows us to do just that,” said Chief Anthony Gibson of the Drew Police Department. “In a society that is growing increasingly dependent on technology, BlueStreak offers us an innovation that allows us to keep up to speed.”

BlueStreak Connect’s main product offering is the ConnectSuite, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, which allows small to midsized law enforcement agencies access to sophisticated electronic records management capabilities at a fraction of the cost and with minimal IT support.

“We are excited about our role in this strategic partnership and to be able to help the Drew Police Department modernize their record system,” said Elena Castor, vice president of sales for BlueStreak Connect. “We designed the ConnectSuite solution with the needs of small and midsized law enforcement agencies in mind, so that they could access vital information in real time to better serve the public.” ■   

For more information, click here and check box 29 in the Reader Service Number response service.



From The Police Chief, vol. 75, no. 1, January 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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