Meet the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
As OSCR360 continues to spread to agencies throughout the United States, we like to find the time to check in with our customers and see how things are going. Recently, we had the opportunity to catch up with Colby Duvel, a Civilian Criminalist with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office in Northern Colorado. Colby is an active member of the LCSO investigations Unit, in addition to providing direct support to the Patrol Unit (as needed). As a result, Colby’s shifts are divided between time spent in the field and time spent in the crime lab.
Larimer County, which is located between Denver and the Wyoming border, spans a wide and diverse geographical area. Among its forestlands, open plains, and the picturesque Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer County is home to about 330,000 residents. Larimer County Sheriff’s Office employs over 500 officers and support staff between its seven districts which include Berthoud, Loveland, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Wellington, supporting their communities and working closely alongside the local police departments.
Practicality and Efficiency at Every Scene
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has been using OSCR360 regularly for just over 2 years since the system was first purchased by the agency’s Investigations Unit. Though LCSO also owns a laser scanner, the Investigations Unit prefers to use OSCR360 as often as possible at scenes that don’t require measurements, since OSCR’s documentation process is much faster. To date, the team has investigated a variety of crime scenes, including sexual assaults, search warrants and suspicious deaths with OSCR360.
“We have the 3D laser scanner, but because of the functionality, the dependability, the quick readiness, and how efficient it is, we consider OSCR, not just the documentation process, but the software part of it, top tier because it’s just so efficient. It’s just been so great.”
Emergency Preparedness in the Schools
When Colby attended a laser scanner training about school safety last year, she realized the immense value in documenting school campuses to prepare for the unexpected. Yet, following the training – and after reflecting on how time-intensive laser scanner documentation would be – she realized that OSCR360 would provide a more efficient approach to school documentation and would achieve better results.
After receiving permission from her commanding officer, Colby began a pilot program documenting one of the seventeen local elementary schools. Throughout the process, the school has been highly cooperative and supportive, appreciating the importance of emergency preparedness. Colby is able to access the school campus after school hours, as to avoid disruption to the students and staff.
In a world full of complicated technology, Colby has found OSCR360’s equipment to be extremely user-friendly. With OSCR, Colby photographed the total interior and exterior of the school building. Then, within the software, she added labels to each room, as well as the exterior doors, using OSCR’s points of interest (POI) feature.
With her demanding schedule, Colby has been pleased with how efficient OSCR is, explaining that it’s so much quicker than taking four photos to fully capture just one room. She is also grateful for the ease and simplicity that the software provides.
“It’s not overbearing or full of unnecessary information. It’s easy, simple, basic software that is exactly what we need.”
In the future, Colby intends to document the remaining 16 public schools within the district and download OSCR’s free viewer software onto each of the Deputies’ laptops. Her completed OSCR projects will allow LCSO to:
- Access the entire school campus remotely at any time, day or night.
- Virtually tour the building to gain tactical confidence and familiarity with the layout.
- Identify locations with potential safety concerns, such as barricades and hiding spots.
- Identify escape routes and emergency equipment access locations, such as defibrillators and fire extinguishers.
- Offer formal training sessions without the scheduling and cost constraints of accessing the physical location.
- Share and collaborate with other law enforcement agencies, first responders, and school district staff.
- Enhance agency response time and proficiency in the event of an emergency.
- Capture, organize and store notes, photos, data, and all additional digital evidence, post-incident.
When asked, “Why OSCR?” Colby responded that OSCR360:
“Gives a real-life perspective as if you were standing in the room. It takes one photograph to encompass an entire section in the viewable eye, rather than four, five, six photographs to document that same space…You can look at one photograph and spin it around…and you feel like you’re in that room…. A lot of time in photographs, you might not be able to get the ceiling and the floor…It’s definitely very perspective-oriented for the viewers.”
Perspective and familiarity can make a world of difference in emergency pre-planning. Emergency preparedness with OSCR360 not only fosters a positive learning environment among students, families, and staff, but also equips first responders with the knowledge and preparation to respond to a situation where every second counts and every life matters.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Colby, and for your dedication to the safety of the Larimer County community!
Interested in more information on OSCR360? Or seeing how other departments are utilizing the system?