New Mexico State Police using laser scanners to create 3D models of crime scenes | KOB 4

New Mexico State Police using laser scanners to create 3D models of crime scenes

Kassi Nelson
January 23, 2019 10:47 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Still photographs and maps may soon be a thing of the past for investigators. A 3D laser scanner does the job of both, and then some.


The device scans horizontally and vertically to build a virtual 3D model of a crime scene.

New Mexico State Police Sergeant Lauren Milligan said it’s crucial for gathering evidence and building a case.

“What we can do is we can build our point cloud and we can fly around in the scene in a 3D animation and show people what we would like them to see, specific pieces of evidence, maybe where a body is, etc.,” Milligan said.

The scanners aren’t new. State police have been using them since 2012. But Milligan said they’ve changed the game. They’re using them for everything from homicides to serious traffic crashes. It creates a permanent record, helps officers weed out potential witnesses, and significantly cuts down the time it takes to process a scene.

“It takes 90 seconds to map whatever it can see in the area,” he said.

NMSP has four scanners and each cost nearly $90,000. Milligan said they’re worth it.

“Really these things are irreplaceable for what you get,” he said.  


Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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