Just north of Massachusetts, along the border of New Hampshire, lies the scenic town of Brattleboro, Vermont. Filled with rolling hills and flowing rivers, the town consists of roughly 12,000 residents. The Police Department is committed to protecting and serving its community. Their website says, “We enjoy meeting our citizens and business owners, and do as much as we can, during foot patrols, community activities and through tours of our department.” When fully staffed, the Department consists of 27 sworn officers, including 4 detectives.
This week, we got to chat with Detective Lieutenant Evans from the Brattleboro Police Department about how they are utilizing OSCR360.
A “Just Right” Crime Scene Solution
For as long as they could remember, the Brattleboro Police Department had been using older digital cameras to take their crime scene photos. In recent years, the cameras had become so undependable that Investigators had started snapping crime scene photos with their cell phone cameras. They knew there had to be a better way.
“Initially, we were looking for some better ways to do our on-scene imagery – our major crime scenes. The turnover on our cameras was ridiculous. All we had were really old camera systems and everyone was just using their cell phones to take pictures of crime scenes.”
When the detective unit began evaluating crime scene photography technology, they considered everything from inexpensive recreational-use cameras to top-of-the-line laser scanners. Detective Lt. Evans explained that the laser scanners were quite intriguing, but they were expensive and took a long time to scan each room. Ultimately, they concluded that laser scanners would be too slow and tedious to use at most crime scenes and were not worth the hefty price tag. While the 360-degree recreational cameras were also intriguing, they were simply cameras, and did not have any law enforcement-friendly features.
Brattleboro Police Department found what they were looking for in OSCR360. Not only will OSCR capture detailed crime scene photos for the Department, but the software captured GPS and other meta-data at the scene, stored all digital evidence related to the case, and allowed for the creation of a compelling virtual tour of the crime scene. This walkthrough could be used during investigation and prosecution of the case.
Fast. Easy. Effective.
Post-purchase, the Department was pleased to discover that OSCR training was quick and painless for its Detectives, who were up and running without a hitch. Evans reported that there was never a need to look up any “how-to’s” or troubleshoot any issues. Because OSCR360 is so fast and easy-to-use, Brattleboro Detectives brings OSCR to all of their crime scenes. So far, Detective Lt. Evans reports that the Department has used OSCR at numerous arson scenes, death scenes, and even two bank robberies.
Evans described how a past bank robbery would have traditionally required dozens of digital photographs to fully document just the lobby alone. With OSCR? The entire scene was captured in just a couple 360-degree overall photos and ready to show the state’s attorney.
“The simplicity of it – one of the bank robberies in particular. Rather than take a million photos inside the lobby just to try and document the lobby well for our state’s attorney. Just taking two images with the OSCR – it got everything. Same thing with the exterior.”
Detective Lt. Evans appreciates the software capabilities of OSCR just as much as photography. He explained that OSCR360 is like having a visual report. Everything is incorporated into one simple, yet comprehensive presentation. It’s straightforward to upload other images and reports into the software so all pertinent case information is organized together.
“So far for us, it’s been a great system. It’s been really simple to use and has really expanded our capabilities for imagery when it comes to crime scenes.”
Brattleboro Police Department plans to continue using OSCR360 at all of the crime scenes that its Detectives investigate.
L-Tron would like to thank Detective Lieutenant Evans and the entire Brattleboro Police Department for providing us with valuable feedback about OSCR360.
Interested in more information on OSCR360? Or seeing how other departments are utilizing the system?