With 3D imaging, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department solve cases faster


The fire department also uses it to freeze a scene in time

FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County’s police department and fire and rescue department were the first in the nation to use 3D-imaging technology to capture crime scenes. In 2017, the county applied for a grant and received a Faro imager, which Lieutenant Salman Khan says is worth up to $70,000.

Khan is one of only four trained people in the county who uses the imager for investigations. While the Faro is primarily used for the county’s Crash Reconstruction Unit, the fire department also uses it to capture fire scenes.

The operator places the imager in different locations around the scene, depending on how large and extensive the fire or crash is. Last week, Khan used it to capture what was left of a home in Great Falls. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

“Once the property’s been turned back over to the homeowner, we can’t go back to the property without their consent,” said Khan. “This way, I have everything documented as is before the scene was changed.”

Now, Fairfax County is among many jurisdictions in the Commonwealth to use the technology. While the images can be used to determine causes of fires, it can also be used for training purposes and for court cases.

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