Posts Tagged ‘law enforcement diagram’

Bergen County, NJ Fatal Crash Unit Appreciates CZ Point Cloud

For more than 12 years, the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit (FAIU) of the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office used The CAD Zone’s Crime Zone software to document crime and crash scenes. When the agency acquired a Leica ScanStation C-10 laser scanner the investigators tried using the point cloud software that was included with the scanner. They found that they could easily scan a scene, but they struggled with creating courtroom-quality diagrams from the resulting point clouds.

Detective Andrew Rich, a 14 year veteran of the Bergen County FAIU (now retired), evaluated The CAD Zone’s CZ Point Cloud software and he quickly determined it was ideal for creating crime and crash scene diagrams from scanned data. He appreciated the many tools included in CZ Point Cloud that are specifically for generating 2D diagrams – which are critical for most investigations. Only CZ Point Cloud makes it easy to work within a point cloud and accurately select the evidence points you need to build both 2D and 3D diagrams.


Use Pre-drawn Symbols For Faster Diagrams

crash zone symbol manager

The Crash Zone Symbol Manager toolbox showing just a few of the pre-drawn symbols.

If you are a Crash Scene Investigator, chances are you have better things to do with your time than spend hours and hours creating drawings of crash scenes. One way to really save on drawing time is to use pre-drawn symbols for commonly found objects.  Instead of trying to draw that vehicle or sign found at the scene, just select the pre-drawn symbol and drag it into place.

General purpose drawing programs may have pre-drawn symbols of furniture or trees, but they will not have many items found at a crash scene, such as vehicles, bodies, signs, or weapons. To get these types of symbols, you need a software program that is specifically for drawing crash scenes.The Crash Zone, crash scene diagramming software published by The CAD Zone, Inc., has thousands of pre-drawn symbols that are ready for you to place in all of your 2D and 3D diagrams. You can easily change any symbol’s rotation, size, and color as you place it in the diagram. Symbols can be placed at an approximate location in the drawing or snapped to an exact data point.


Trainer Finds Crash Zone Software Highly Intuitive

Neal Trantham, owner of Nebraska Accident Reconstruction, tried other diagramming software programs before deciding which one to use in the accident reconstruction classes he teaches. Trantham, who also is a law enforcement officer with the State of Nebraska, says students in his classes span a broad spectrum of talents and skills from young officers just beginning their careers to officers about to retire.

“My biggest challenge is making these classes interesting and keeping them flowing so people at both ends of the spectrum don’t feel the class is going too fast or too slow,” Trantham said. To maintain this ‘flow’ of instruction, Trantham chose The Crash Zone, from The CAD Zone, Inc. (www.cadzone.com ). He felt The Crash Zone was the most intuitive to grasp of several drawing programs he surveyed, meaning students could be successfully creating diagrams very quickly.


Defending Your Scene Diagrams in Court

As an investigator, you may often be called upon to present your findings in the courtroom in front of a skeptical jury and an attorney who would just love to prove you wrong.  Your diagrams of the scene are an important part of your investigation and you want to make sure you can prove they are completely accurate. So, what are some rules to follow for ensuring that your methodology for preparing a diagram and diagramming the scene itself will be credible enough to withstand courtroom scrutiny?


Crash Animation Now Available To All Investigators

Traditionally, 3D animations, or movies, of the events surrounding a crash were recognized as a powerful tool to help present a case in court. However, they were so expensive to produce that they were only feasible for high-profile cases where big budgets were involved. Recently, the development of easy-to-use, accurate, software for creating animations has changed all that. It is now possible for every crash investigator to produce animations of a crash, based on the evidence they found at the scene.

Just ask Bobby Jones, Assistant Chief of the Knox County-Knoxville, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, and a trained reconstructionist. Jones feels that animations are an important part of his courtroom presentations. Says Jones, “We’ll always need to have a static diagram to get a start (for presenting crash scene details). However, a jury these days can comprehend animation, and the retention is significantly higher than words and diagrams.” Also, Jones adds, “Anytime we can illustrate in motion, we capture the attention of the jury because juries are typically inclined to want to see technology.”

Jones uses The CAD Zone, Inc.’s Crash Zone diagramming software, one of the most popular and widely used forensic drawing software packages on the market. With The Crash Zone he can create his 2D diagrams, incorporating all the exact measurements he takes at the scene. The program contains easy-to-use tools for creating the 3D model and animations of the crash from any viewpoint.