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New 3D crime scene, car crash software will help APD reconstruct incidents

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: May 10 2013 06:17:05 PM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 10:14:25 PM CDT


ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene police are ordering computer software that reconstructs crime and traffic incidents in 3D. They expect to begin training on ARAS 360 some time next month.

“For what we use it for, crash reconstruction or crime scene reconstruction, [it] really will help us determine what happened at the scenes and--not only that--it will let us show a juror, or potential jurors, what occurred at these locations,” Sgt. Richard Waggoner said.

Waggoner said his department currently uses black and white, two-dimensional diagrams to illustrate car crashes.

He explained how much differently a February 2011 road rage crash, in which 46-year-old Christopher North was sentenced to 70 years in prison for shooting and killing 21-year-old Austin David, would have been depicted to a jury.

“We could have actually shown vehicles in motion coming in, colliding with each other, and then the two people who end up being involved in the shooting exit their vehicles and even show the shooting take place,” Waggoner said.

The software also allows police to pick the make, model and year of each car. It also depicts crime scenes in graphic detail.

“It can show the person in motion prior to either being shot, stabbed, hit,” Waggoner said. “It can show the evidence of the blood splatter, show where they got stabbed and so forth.”

The software also helps police calculate complicated equations to determine speed and force. ARAS 360 also shows whether a crash was avoidable.

“A lot of times [in] these crashes there's no witnesses and so it's really important to us that we get the information right during the reconstruction,” Waggoner said.

According to an ARAS 360 spokesman, the company has 904 total customers internationally and 320 are law enforcement agencies. Their signature product, ARAS 360 HD, costs $4,995.