Cookeville City Council approved the purchase of a laser scanner to help the Cookeville Police Department investigate crime scenes and crashes.
Cookeville Police Chief Randy Evans said the scanner will help speed up the investigation process.
“The old one, you had to have multiple officers and they had to be in the street and keep the street open quite a bit longer,” Evans said. “With this one, most of this can be done on the side. It doesn’t require the officers to be standing in the streets and identifying points. The points are mapped through the scanner itself and probably does it in a fourth of the time.”
Evans said the scanner creates a 320 to 360-degree map of a crime scene to help police and investigators. The scanner can also assist in determining blood spatter patterns, suspect height, bullet trajectory, and can perform crush analysis in auto accidents.
“If you have a bad crash, maybe it’s a vehicular homicide, you’re able to go in and literally scan the scene and, within one millimeter, place the cars in their exact location,” Evans said. “All those measurements are contained within the scan because it’s literally doing millions of scans.”
Councilman Mark Miller, a member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said the scanner will put CPD above the rest.
“That puts [CPD] above any other agency in this area when it comes to technology,” Miller said. “I’m super excited about it. We’ll be able to do mutual aid with multiple areas if there’s a critical incident. So I’m very excited about this.”
Miller and the rest of council voted unanimously to approve the purchase during Thursday’s meeting.
The scanner is estimated to cost approximately $63,000 and will come out of the CPD drug fund. The price includes special training and warranties.