Clearing accidents faster, more efficiently with Carlson CSI Mobile

By Karen Cummings • October 23rd, 2017

Conway PD Cpl. Jaymes LaPoint collecting points with the Carlson Surveyor2

The Conway Police Department clears accidents faster, more efficiently with Carlson CSI Mobile

The 23-person Conway, New Hampshire, Police Department doesn’t see a lot of fatal accidents or those that cause serious bodily harm even though there is often quite of bit of traffic in the area due to tourism. There are no major highways where they are located in the Mt. Washington Valley region of New Hampshire and speed limits top out at 50, with most well below that.

But, now that they’re using Carlson CSI software together with their newly acquired Surveyor2 data collector and Carlson CR5+ series robotic total station, they are prepared when one does happen.

“We’ve already had more than 400 minor accidents that we investigated this year,” said Sgt. Russ McLauchlan, “but only one fatal accident and two with serious bodily injuries of the type for which we would need to use the Carlson accident reconstruction equipment.”

That said, they are glad they made the recent switch from their former equipment, which they said was nearly a decade old and more designed for construction use than for their needs.

“Law enforcement has historically been using older model hardware requiring multiple officers at a crash/crime scene,” explained Mike Flamm, Carlson certified CSI Mobile/Office instructor.  “The introduction of robotics to law enforcement allows investigators to clear scenes faster and more efficiently as only one person is needed. This also relieves departments of paying extra overtime, and means decreased road closure times and overall better management of the investigation.”

“It is like night and day between our old equipment and Carlson,” said Cpl. Jaymes LaPoint, one of the four Conway P.D. personnel trained to use the Carlson equipment.

Cpl. LaPoint joined Sgt. McLauchlan and fellow Cpl. Sean McGrath to list the three main reasons they are pleased with the results they are getting with the Carlson robotic total station and Carlson CSI software. These include:

  • It was easy to learn. The Conway P.D. received two days of training and they noted that Carlson was much more intuitive, meaning it was designed for use by police and met their needs.
  • An accident scene could be mapped by just one person. It went from being a three-person job “with a lot of yelling and radio talk” down to a one-person, much quicker job, thus saving time and enabling the clearing of roads much faster.
  • Carlson provides technical help. “Dealing with Carlson is great – we get answers right away and they help us,” said Sgt. McLauchlan, noting that they never got support from their former equipment producer.
Carlson CSI speeds up accident reconstruction

Cpl. McGrath (left) and Cpl. LaPoint show how the robotic total station (background) follows the prism.

“Carlson made it both easy-to-learn and -use, which is good,” added Sgt. McLauchlan, “because if you get awakened in the middle of the night to go to an accident, you want to be able to get right to work without having to relearn things or set something up that’s complicated.”

“It has a lot of features our other equipment didn’t have,” added Cpl. LaPoint. This includes CSI Mobile’s unique ability, compared to other software, to code multiple points onto a single measurement, designed once again to provide for improved time savings.

“CSI Mobile, which was designed for law enforcement with the idea of saving time, simplifying training, and also use during the investigation, provides advanced surveying techniques in a simplified interface,” added Flamm. “All this is combined with an easy-to-download, single-button process of exporting multiple data file formats that can quickly open in a number of desktop drawing solutions.”

“As we approach the winter with snowy or icy roads and busy holiday traffic, we’re hoping we don’t have to use it, but if we do, we know that we’ll be able to get the information we need in a lot less time with less personnel,” added Cpl. LaPoint. “We’re ready now.”

For more information, here’s an overview video of the training session with the Conway Police Department.

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