Veteran Instructors Train Crash Zone and Crime Zone Users Around the World

Most investigators who use The Crash Zone or Crime Zone teach themselves how to use the software, taking advantage of the extensive documentation, tutorials, and training movies. However, for those who prefer to have formal training, there are many expert trainers who offer classes on CAD Zone software throughout the US and around the world. Select CAD Zone Training

Many trainers post their upcoming class schedules on the CAD Zone Training Events Calendar. To see information on all the posted classes, visit www.cadzone.com. Select the “Training & Docs” pull down menu and then select “Training Classes.”

On the CAD Zone Training Site, you can select “Events” to display a monthly calendar and a list of upcoming classes. You can also select “Locate a Trainer” (button on the left) to find a trainer near you.

Three CAD Zone trainers are introduced here. To learn more about their experience and classes, refer to the details about each trainer later in the article.

Mike Allard, a veteran crash reconstructionist in Massachusetts, has been using The Crash Zone for 18 years and training others to use the software since 2005. Allard’s hands-on training courses typically include time outside learning to properly measure a scene using a total station or Laser Technology measurement system. The students then learn how to use the tools in The Crime Zone (or Crash Zone) software to turn their measurements into accurate, professional drawings that will be accepted in a courtroom.  Visit forensicdiagram.com.

Kent E. Boots is a retired Deputy Sheriff who now trains other investigators through his company, FactualDiagrams.com. Boots is a court-recognized expert in forensic mapping, total station technology, and creating CAD scale diagrams including 3D diagrams.  Boots frequently offers Crash Zone and Crime Zone training classes throughout the United States, including classes he teaches at the Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science.

Bobby Jones, a crash reconstructionist based in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been investigating crash and crime scenes for more than 30 years. Jones operates his own business, Bobby Jones & Associates/Reconstruction, plus serves as Assistant Chief with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Knoxville, TN. In addition, he is a crash reconstruction instructor at the Institute of Police Technology and Management at the University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL.  Since 1999, Jones has taught hundreds of Crash Zone classes throughout the United States and internationally, including Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands), South Africa, South America, Mexico, Canada, and Romania. Jones’ company is:  http://www.reconstructionist.com/

Mike Allard, Northeast Diagramming Services

Michael Allard is a 26 year veteran of the Northampton Massachusetts Police Department where his duties include collision analysis and reconstruction, latent fingerprint recovery and comparison, DNA recovery, and crime scene investigation. He has used The Crash Zone (Crime Zone) software for the past 18 years, both in his law enforcement career and as a private reconstructionist and trainer.

Allard believes that taking a formal training class can help investigators produce diagrams that are as accurate and precise as possible. Having formal training can also be important for cases that go to court. Allard explains, “When you must testify in court to prove that your diagrams are accurate, it is very advantageous when you can state you have received formal training in the use of the equipment and software.” allard-train2

Allard has been training Crash Zone and Crime Zone users since 2005. He has taught a total of more than 600 students in 5 different states. Allard is passionate about teaching, “I thoroughly enjoy teaching students how to accurately measure and produce professional diagrams. The teaching methods I use are beneficial to students of all levels, including clear language, hands on practice, and a comprehensive final exam project that ties together everything the student has learned in the class.”

Hands-On Training is Important

Hands on training courses, as taught by Allard, typically include time outside mapping scenes with a total station, LTI measurement device, or a FARO laser scanner, depending on the equipment used by the student’s agency. “Learning to properly map a scene allows the investigator to gather data more efficiently and help cut down on road closure time,” explains Allard.  Allard also favors using Pocket Zone data collection software (from The CAD Zone) to map crash and crime scenes. According to Allard, “Pocket Zone is ideal for total station data collection because you can see the drawing take form in real time as you map the scene, thus reducing errors and the need for a return visit.”

Allard described one of the rewards of being a CAD Zone instructor, “I was teaching a CAD Zone course in Massachusetts and one of the students was an older officer who was in the later phases of his career. The officer was very unfamiliar with using computers and any form of software, i.e. “What is a right click?” Initially, the student struggled, but he was able to make an amazing improvement through the week-long class. A short time after the class I received an email from him. The student went on to describe a collision he investigated involving a small child that was fatally injured. He explained how the attorneys were extremely impressed at the quality of his diagram, and told him it was one of the best they’ve ever seen. This student was amazed at how easy it was to complete his diagram, even being a novice computer user.” Experiences like this prove how extremely valuable CAD Zone software is to any investigator and how important it is to receive good training.

For more information about Mike Allard’s classes, visit forensicdiagram.com or contact   him via email:  mike@forensicdiagram.com

allard-train1Investigators in Mike Allard’s classes get hands on practice mapping and
diagramming crash and crime scenes.

 Kent Boots, Factual Diagrams

After 20 years of experience with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Kent Boots retired from Law Enforcement in 2006 and formed a company called FactualDiagrams.com.  He is a certified CAD Zone trainer and has taught many classes in California and throughout the United States. His company offers training in Forensic Mapping using a total station, Crash & Crime scene diagramming using CAD Zone software, Crash Data Retrieval Technician training, and an ACTAR (Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction) Test Preparation course. In addition to providing training, FactualDiagrams.com sells Forensic Mapping equipment and CAD Zone software.

For Crash Zone/Crime Zone users, Boots teaches a 40-hour Basic-Intermediate Diagramming course and a 24-hour Advanced Diagramming course.  Additionally, he offers a unique specialty class on how to document vehicle damage with CAD Zone software and another class on Crash Zone/Crime Zone’s powerful reconstruction and animation tools. Boots’ company also offers a 40-hour, Forensic Mapping System (FMS) class that is not instrument or software specific.  It was the first and currently the only POST (Peace Officer Standards & Training) Forensic Mapping class in California.  Attendees of this course receive a copy of “Fundamentals of Forensic Mapping” (ISBN 978-0-9716634-0-4); a book Boots co-authored.

Boots’ “Forensic Mapping System” and “Basic-Intermediate Crime Zone” courses are regularly offered at the Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Both of these courses are approved by ACTAR for continuing education units, and by the International Association for Identification (IAI) for crime scene recertification units.

In addition to providing training and equipment sales Boots also provides Forensic Mapping services to several reconstruction firms throughout California and Nevada.  He is a court-recognized expert in forensic mapping, total station technology, and CAD scale diagrams; including 3D.  He is a certified Forensic Mapping Specialist, a full member of the Professional Society of Forensic Mapping, and former Vice-President and current President on the Board of Directors.

For more information about Boots’ training classes, visit: www.FactualDiagrams.com  or email him at: training@FactualDiagrams.com

 Bobby Jones & Associates

jones-training1
A typical scene from one of Bobby Jones’ training courses where scene mapping is introduced.

Bobby Jones started out using AutoCAD to create crash and crime scene diagrams, but found it complicated and financially out of reach. Then he discovered The Crash Zone diagramming program from The CAD Zone, Inc. “From day one, I was able to produce accurate diagrams with it,” Jones recalls. “Crash Zone is very intuitive, and right away I knew this program was a tool I would use throughout my career.” He uses the software in all aspects of his profession, whether teaching, creating diagrams for clients of his reconstruction business, or when investigating crash and crime scene reconstructions for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

‘Anyone Can Draw Accurately With The Crash Zone’

Crash Zone training classes that Bobby Jones holds attract a variety of students, ranging from backgrounds in engineering to crash reconstruction to simple crash scene diagramming by traffic officers. Many students have never encountered Crash Zone, while others are familiar with it but not entirely proficient.

“My experience is that anyone can draw accurately with The Crash Zone,” Jones explained. “We see people creating some great diagrams with very little training. When they walk away from a full training course, they are in awe,” Jones added. “They are amazed at the accuracy and level of detail they can achieve with Crash Zone.”

Jones notes that Crash Zone not only helps students draw a crash diagram, but to reconstruct a crash scene by calculating, measuring angles and distances, performing a time and distance analysis, and creating animations. Crash Zone’s powerful 3D and animation features clearly are the software’s star attractions for many students. Likewise, Jones views these features as important tools for creating courtroom presentations.

jones-training3

Jones also trains investigators how to use total stations and laser scanners to properly measure and document a crash or crime scene. According to Jones, “Any diagram is only as good as the measurements used to create it so it’s critical to obtain accurate and comprehensive measurements.”

Evaluations of Jones’ classes are requested of students at the close of each training class.  “Most of the students say they would like even more training,” Jones said. “It’s not because Crash Zone is so complicated, it’s because they start to see just how valuable the drawing and analysis tools can be to any investigation and they want to learn everything they can.”

For more information about Jones’ training classes, visit:  http://www.reconstructionist.com/  or email him at : bobby@reconstructionist.com

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