- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An upgrade in technology will significantly cut the time that roads are closed while officers investigate fatal crashes, Anchorage police said.

The new 3-D mapping tool could cut the time roads are closed by hours, KTUU-TV reported (https://bit.ly/2t4XpZD ) Wednesday.

Anchorage police have been using a two-dimensional tool that requires movement of an officer from location to location to map about 150 to 300 evidence points before clearing the scene. But the new tool can map a million evidence points, scanning from a 360-degree position in about eight minutes.

“A typical investigation could shut down the (Seward) Highway for three to four hours,” Acting Deputy Chief of Police Ken McCoy said. “This new equipment will speed that process up, and hopefully within a half hour we’re able to get the highway clear, have our investigation complete and get traffic moving again.”

The Anchorage Assembly approved the purchase of a FARO 3D Scanner for $151,929 at Tuesday’s meeting. The equipment was paid for by an Alaska Department of Transportation grant.

The system will be able to be deployed at any homicide scene and will not strictly be used for traffic incidents.

The new scanner is expected to arrive in Alaska within the next few months, but it’s unclear when it will be deployed in the field.

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Information from: KTUU-TV, https://www.ktuu.com

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