East Central University and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have entered into a partnership that will improve crime scene investigative measures in the state and bring specialized demonstrative training into the classroom.
ECU has purchased a Nikon NPL-332 Total Station that will be used by the OSBI for crime scene investigations. The equipment creates a three-dimensional forensic map pinpointing evidence and other critical objects at crime scenes.
In return, ECU's criminal justice students and state and tribal law enforcement officers will receive classroom instruction by OSBI agents who will introduce the concept, equipment and proper use of a Total Station at crime scene investigations.
"This is the only Total Station in Oklahoma, said Dr. Steve Turner, director of ECU's Tribal Police Training Program and ECU's vice president for administration and finance. "This is an incredible opportunity for our criminal justice students to learn this technology before they graduate. And we are pleased to provide this technology to the OSBI agents who are assigned crime scene investigation responsibility."
ECU received the grant to purchase the Total Station from the United States Department of Justice's Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services.
"This training will give our students an advantage over students in other criminal justice programs," said Dr. Duane C. Anderson, ECU's interim president. "We already enjoy a great relationship with the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, which certifies law officers in Oklahoma. We're proud to add the OSBI partnership to our program."
The Total Station is set up as a stationary module to create the forensic map. The accuracy of measurements and location of items are critical in crime scene reconstruction and for use in court proceedings.
Ideally, said Jessica Brown, OSBI public information officer, agents will use this unique piece of equipment on more complicated crime scenes, especially in an outdoor setting. It can be difficult for agents to properly document outdoor crime scenes since a permanent point of reference can be hard to locate.
"Perhaps most importantly is the ability of crime scene agents to better document a scene. This special equipment is something we have needed for some time now," she said.
The equipment uses a laser to provide accurate measurements when documenting the boundaries of the scene as well as the location of evidence. The information is transferred to a computer, which generates a three-dimensional image which can be used as evidence in trials.
# # #