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Baltimore Co. Police Show Off High-Tech Tools They Use To Solve Crimes

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — In case you missed it, Saturday wraps up National Forensics Science Week. It’s the stuff CSI is made of, only it’s real.

Alex DeMetrick reports on some of the newest high-tech tools used to solve crimes.

Meet the Panoscan, a high-definition camera that records a crime scene from wall-to-wall and from floor to ceiling. It gives juries a movie-like look, and detectives a second or third look.

“They can take this and open it on their computer in their office and revisit, re-look at the evidence. And it helps them answer questions they might have,” said Jason Birchfield, Baltimore County Police forensics.

Besides a permanently fresh crime scene, it also provides highly detailed close-ups of the objects it contains.

They are new forensic tools Baltimore County Police are putting to work, like the Brasstrax system to match shell casings with guns.

“This will actually allow the users in the future to take a high-definition three-dimensional image,” said Cresha Carson, forensic technology. “These are unique to this cartridge case.”

Marks a computer will seek to match with other cases found at shooting scenes.

“So here’s our picture and then here are our potential candidates,” Carson said.

And it will allow matches to be compared in 3D. It’s the invisible this black film picks up: prints from hands or feet you can’t see, but a special camera can.

“This would just be if somebody walked across some carpet, walked on a piece of paper, a floor, a countertop or something to that effect,” said Erin Vinson. “If I had a known source, I could make an identification to that shoe or I’d be able to eliminate that shoe.”

The technology is geared to catching criminals faster–and, in a nice twist, crime is paying for it.

“Much of it paid for by asset seizures from drug cases or other violent crimes that have taken place,” said Baltimore County Chief Jim Johnson.

Cutting edge isn’t cheap, though. The three new forensic tools being used by Baltimore County cost half a million dollars.

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