Crimewatch: Williamson County shows off new 3D crime scene mapping system

New 3D crime mapping technology puts jurors at the scene of the crime. Investigators with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office just got their hands on the system.

Williamson County Lt. Craig Gripentrog walks us through a mock crime scene. It is a man who appears to have been struck over the head with a metal pole during a drug deal gone bad.

This territory, if it were a real murder, would be off limits to the outside world, but deputies have found a way to invite the public in without tainting precious evidence.

"It puts the jury at the crime scene," said Gripentrog.

The sheriff's office has just obtained a 3D mapping system called Faro. It takes a 360 scan of the crime scene. Within five minutes deputies can bring the images up on a computer.

"They can see the exact condition it was when we arrived. They can see where the weapons were, the condition of the body, if there was blood spatter you get to see exactly what that looked like on the wall," said Gripentrog.

The system allows deputies to measure the scene with a few clicks of a mouse.

"I could touch the firearm and then it tells me it's 8.6023 feet away," said Gripentrog.

It prevents contamination of a crime scene, as only one person is needed to activate it, and less room for user error.

"We used to have to run a tape measure, so you would run what they call a baseline which is a 300-foot tape measure along this wall and the off that tape measure you would make other measurements with tape measures to your point. That's how we would shoot things to scale and it was very time consuming. We once did an officer involved shooting that way in a corn field and it took us all night," said Gripentrog.

Gripentrog works in the traffic enforcement division. He plans to use the device to investigate crashes.

"This is going to save us on I-35 probably about an hour I would think pretty easily," said Gripentrog.

But better than being fast, is being accurate. Deputies hope that is what the faro will help them achieve.

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