New technology helps Greensboro Police Department collect data faster, more precisely

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GREENSBORO. N.C. — A new piece of technology is helping Greensboro police clear crashes faster and better understand what led up to the wreck.

The crash reconstruction team has been using the Faro Focus S70 at serious crashes in the last few months.

“We’ve had a great six months with it,” said Officer A.D. Reed. “It’s been very helpful. I’ve been deployed on several fatality scenes and the data I’ve been able to collect and go back and use has been tremendous.”

FOX8 got a close up look at the device as police demonstrated it on our station vehicle. The 3D laser takes pictures and collects millions of data points in minutes.

“We did the math on it,” Reed said. “It would take a person shooting the old way we did it — if I were to shoot a point and shoot it in as much detail as I get with the Faro — it would take me 19 years of shooting nonstop 24/7 365 days a year at one second per shot.”

Officers can access the information it gathers online to reconstruct the crash in 3D.

“We can do reanimation, so we could actually go in there and shoot the scene and then we can go back in there and put exemplar cars and re-create the scene and actually put you in — I could put you in the driver seat of the car and you could see what the driver would’ve seen,” Reed said.

Reed said the device’s findings could also help victims’ families understand what took place.

“Sometimes that helps the families,” Reed said. “A lot of people are wanting to see so we can show them, prove to them what occurred with their family members in the wrecks.”

Police purchased the device using a federal grant. It along with the training and computer system cost around $80,000.

“If we can get a road cleared up quicker, gather more evidence and inconvenience the public less that’s the whole design for this system,” Reed said.

Faro is not just for traffic reconstruction, crime scene investigators are trained how to use the technology for homicide investigations.

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