In return for letting TV camera crews tag along with investigators, Indianapolis police will be able to use a high-tech laser system to map crime scenes in 3-D, reports the Indianapolis Star. The A&E show “Crime 360” provided the equipment, software, and training for the $200,000 Leica ScanStation 2. In exchange, A&E film crews have been following homicide detectives as they investigate area slayings. “For the police, the scanner is a tool to preserve the crime scene,” producer Mickey Stern said. “For us, it’s a way to look in the minds of the detectives.”
Combined with digital photographs, the laser mapping equipment has the ability to put detectives — and viewers — into an exact digital rendering of the crime scene. Investigators can go inside the virtual image to analyze a bullet’s trajectory or recreate the crime from the point of view of the victim, killer or witnesses. The ScanStation is a gray, metal box about the size of a small suitcase. “The hardest part of the whole system is just getting the tripod level,” said Mike Kouns, a local crime scene technician. The digital images are revolutionizing police work in ways he never dreamed of, Kouns said, when he first got into law enforcement about 23 years ago. “We are really interested and focused on showing law enforcement doing what it takes to solve crimes and prevent crimes,” said Laura Fleury, an A&E producer. “Because that is what we are interested in, law enforcement feels comfortable with us being there.” The show will feature Indianapolis and several other cities in its second season, expected to begin airing by next summer.