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NLV police have new crime-solving tool |

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NLV police have new crime-solving tool

There's futuristic technology now in the hands of North Las Vegas police investigators and they're the only ones in southern Nevada to have this type of tool.

The department unveiled its new 3-D crime scene mapping gadget exclusively to 8 News NOW.

The new 3-D mapping tool gives investigators a 360-degree view of crime scenes. When looking at a car with bullet holes, it can show the angle of the shots. It gives detectives an idea of what the scene looked like from the driver's seat.

It's just the beginning of what the CSI technology can do.

While it may not look like much as first glance, the small box is revolutionizing how North Las Vegas police investigate crime scenes.

Until now, investigators like Dana Marks only had one chance to get it right and collect every bit of evidence she could at a crime scene.

Now this 3-D laser scanner preserves the scene virtually.

"Being able to capture as much evidence as we need and being able to go back virtually to a crime scene instead of having to physically go back to a crime scene," said Dana Marks, crime scene investigation supervisor, NLVPD.

Sam El-Said with Precision Survey Supply is helping investigators learn how to use the new wave form technology. It's able to scan and map out everything in its path almost 1,000 feet in each direction.

"It's going to be able to capture this information in 3D in forever and all time, like I said, with accuracy in the millimeters," said El-Said.

Until now, investigators have mostly relied on photos to show what a crime scene looked like. Processing a scene can take several hours, even days.

With 3-D mapping, many scenes can be preserved in less than an hour.

"If you're asked a question, oh man, I didn't think about that at the time, you can go into the scan and all the data is there. The evidence is still there," said Sgt. Sean Walker, NLVPD traffic division.

When a case goes to court, the technology allows a judge or even a jury to see what a witness might have seen too.

"If we have information from someone saying they were looking out from a certain window, we can actually put the camera view from that window and see what they could or could not have seen," Marks said.

With Cyclone, the software paired with the 3-D laser scanner, it drastically eliminates any uncertainty in a murder or even fatal car crash investigation.

"In our software, we are able to use this tool to measure that skid mark or bullet trajectory and be able to simulate and or recreate what actually occurred," El-Said said.

It's cutting edge technology police say will help find evidence to put criminals behind bars in a fraction of the time.

"A lot more data with less time," Marks said.

The technology has met and exceeded the Daubert Standard and has already been used in court cases in other parts of the country, according to distributors. The Daubert Standard provides a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses' testimony during legal proceedings.