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L-Tron Corporation partners with NYSTARS to bring spherical imaging to crash experts
The data solutions company partnered with NYSTARS to co-sponsor photography expert Andrew McNeill, a 20-year police officer and trainer. McNeill covered the basics of forensic photography at crash scenes, specifically the use of a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) in manual mode. The training was followed by a demonstration of the OSCR360 Photographic Solution for Crime and Crash Scenes. McNeill has taught photography to police crime scene technicians for the past decade.
The bulk of attendees at the training consisted of crash reconstructionists from the New York State Police. Also in attendance were police officers from various local law enforcement agencies, as well as private engineers who specialize in crash investigation. The session which took place March 26 at the New York State Police Academy in Albany was repeated at Brighton Fire Department the next day.
A return to forensic photography basics, while likely review for most attendees, was produced at the request of the society's membership, according to McNeill. It focused on giving crash investigators control over their camera, instead of the other way around.
"Too often in forensic work, whether on crash scenes or crime scenes, we find images that don't capture the details needed for investigation, and ultimately trial," McNeill said. "We've discovered most lesser-quality images are a result of over-reliance on automatic camera settings."
That over-reliance, McNeill points out, raises questions about whether an image accurately reflects what was present at a scene. Shooting in manual mode with the proper camera settings allows the photographer to be certain the best quality image possible is obtained.
Participation at the NYSTARS training was a direct result of McNeill's years of experience in the crash reconstruction field and membership in the organization. McNeill has also been involved in the beta testing of L-Tron's OSCR360 system. He continues to test the solution at active crime and crash scenes contributing to future developments, according to L-Tron COO Gayle DeRose.
"We built OSCR360 from the voice of the users, and continue to improve it from their perspectives,"
Attendees at the NYSTARS training were given a demonstration of OSCR360's capability to capture crash scenes, quickly and effectively producing spherical photographs which serve as "containers"
L-Tron continues its basic forensic photography training this week in Rochester, hosting 40 members of law enforcement, regional crime labs and medical examiner offices. Attendees at the free training are coming from the Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo region, DeRose said.