SUMMARY: Unmanned aircraft vehicles are an effective tool for law enforcement to use when mapping accident and crime scenes. Drones provide investigators with greater analysis capabilities at a fraction of the time.
PROBLEM: Traditional methods for surveying an accident or crime scene are cumbersome. It typically takes a team of officers hours to map out 100-300 measurement points using survey equipment. This can lead to substantial economic loss as buildings or roadways are shut down.
SOLUTION: In August 2016, police in Renton, Washington started using drones to conduct crime scene surveys. The UAV's take photographs which are then uploaded into a software program to construct a map of the scene through a process called photogrammetry. The drones provide investigators with approximately 24 millions reference points, instead of the 100-300 they traditionally had access to. This provides for much more details imaging and analysis of the scene, and in a fraction of the time. A process that use to take more than three hours now takes less than an hour.