Vectors, velocity, "sins," "cosigns," if this sounds like a lot of math to get lost in, well, you might be right. However, Sgt. Doug Wrenn, in the Traffic Division, says it's not that bad. "At times, it's complicated, but even junior high kids could do the equations we do."
Sgt. Wrenn, and the officers in the Traffic Division, are constantly having to stay sharp on a lot of these mathematical methods.
"We are constantly retraining, getting practice in the use of not just the laser, but also the math involved. That's the quickest thing that becomes rusty."
So how's it done?
First, they analyze the friction on the road by using a drag sled. Then they pull out the fun toy, a laser that pinpoints exact distances. "This allows us to get within an inch even if the measurement is out to 500 feet."
Which gives the police exact measurements and can cut down on the time spent at the scene. "We're able to clean up the scene a lot quicker," adds Sgt. Wrenn.
These points are then uploaded into a program that helps them map out the scene on paper. "Once we map out the scene, we have an identical and accurate depiction of the scene." Sgt.
Wrenn adds, "We have seen tremendous accuracy."
While this job can be difficult at times, "Our job certainly is a difficult one, at times, and my hat goes off to all of them [the officers in the Traffic Division]," he says this technology has greatly improved how his division is able to investigate these accidents.