Our Crash Team consists of five officers who are paged out to crash scenes involving serious bodily injury or death. The five active officers are a mix of crash investigators and certified accident re-constructionists. The team uses a combination of mathematics and physics, as well as sophisticated equipment, to derive the speeds of the damaged vehicles involved. This equipment includes drones for aerial footage, accelerometers, and a 3D scanner capable of measuring large scenes down to millimeters of accuracy. All of this aids in finding out the causation of the crash and if criminal charges are necessary.
Our Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit comprises of five officers who are called out to the scene of serious or violent crimes (i.e. homicide, rape, armed robbery, etc.). CSI units assist the Detective Bureau with collecting fingerprints and DNA from these scenes, as well as conducting extensive photography and measurements. These investigators sometimes conduct follow-up investigations at autopsies and they manage a spacious Crime Lab/Evidence Vault at the Portage Police Department.
Officers from both teams go to extensive schooling for these specialties. Because these skill sets sometimes overlap one another, both teams can work with each other to aid in manpower. Crash Team investigators can assist CSI units with measurements at larger crime scenes. In turn, CSI units can assist with photography and measurements at larger crash scenes.