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Douglas County (NE) Forensic Services Laboratory Improvement Program

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $137,016)

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services Division (DCSO FSD) is requesting funding in the amount of $137,016, through the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program for the purchase of a Leica Scan Station P30 3D Scanner.

The DCSO Crime Lab is accredited through ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board under ISO/IEC 17025 and 17020. The lab is the first regional crime lab in the state of Nebraska to become fully accredited. The DCSO FSD provides crime scene investigations services for the Douglas County and currently contracts with 10 other local law enforcement agencies and county attorney offices over a six county area.

The utilization of the Leica 3D Scanner will allow the DCSO FSD to meet the following goals: increase the efficiency and timeliness of crime scene processing (on-scene and post-scene processing), produce higher quality 3-dimensional diagrams for court displays, and maintain services utilizing the most modern technology in the field of forensic science.

When utilized in the nature of crime scene processing the Leica 3D Scanner would eliminate the potential bias regarding the selection of specific items to be included in a diagram and what measurements are taken. The scanner records one million points per second (at up to 270 meters), which vastly overshadows the several dozen of measurements able to be recorded by hand in nearly the same time frame. Additionally there is great accuracy, with a known variation of the scanner to be ±3mm (at 50 meters).

With the ability to accurately record an entire area it is significantly less likely that important items will be overlooked, regardless of how much information is available during initial scene processing. With the ability to gather more contextual information via the scan data of the original scene, it is less likely for there to be a need to return to a scene; which could potentially assist the DCSO in clearing cases in a more efficient manner. The original data gathered at the scene is far more accurate than data gathered from returning to a released scene. The contextual value of anything in a released scene is significantly decreased, due to the potential for contamination and alteration.

The grant funding to purchase the Leica 3D Scanner and the associated training to use the equipment will allow the Forensic Services Division the ability to meet the above mentioned objectives/goals and to manage the requirements needed to maintain accreditation status.


Date Created: September 20, 2018