COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation crime scene agents have a new tool to assist in documenting complex crime scenes.

Agents are now using a 3D laser scanner, which sits on a tripod and rotates 360 degrees, to take millions of precise laser measurements and hundreds of digital photographs. The end result produced with this latest crime scene technology is a “to scale” video that flies through the scene.

“This new technology helps our agents capture more information quickly when they investigate a complicated crime scene. The end product also provides an accurate visual for jurors, which helps county prosecutors with their criminal cases,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. 

BCI has one 3D laser scanner in use right now, but DeWine says four more should be in place by October. Eventually, the five laser scanners will be spread out across Ohio for BCI agents to use in assisting local law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations.

The images help capture measurements from any object in the scene. The images also help BCI agents reconstruct the crime scene by capturing bullet trajectories and bloodstain patterns. One laser scan takes about five minutes. As many as a dozen scans inside a crime scene may be needed to piece the entire scene together.

BCI has used the 3D laser scanner technology about a dozen times, including the recent homicide investigation of a Cleveland Heights bar owner just a few weeks ago.  In general, this technology will be used in homicide and officer-involved shooting investigations which involve complex crime scenes.