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Cape police get new investigative tool

By Staff | Jan 26, 2011

The Cape Coral Police Department’s forensic scientists have a new tool at their disposal to help the city’s PD fight crime.
New software will aid the investigators to log, collect and match footwear patterns from crime scenes.
CSI’s Lawrence Stringham said the software is able to read and recognize a print left on any surface.
Everything is important in a crime scene, Stringham said.
“It might be as important as a fingerprint, but every piece of evidence has its own importance,” Stringham said.
Previously, the police department had to send casts of shoe prints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help with the identification, adding time to investigations where time is of the essence.
Now at least one of those steps will be shortened as CSI staff has access to a database of sole prints. And they will have the opportunity to create their own database as the investigators collect prints from crime scenes.
Technicians were getting their feet wet on Wednesday, testing out the new equipment.
Like any piece of high tech analysis equipment at their disposal — and they have quite a few — Stringham said it will only yield results equal to the amount of time and effort put in to mastering it.
“What you’ll put in will be what you take out,” Stringham added. “Sooner or later it will be an advantage.”
CCPD Lt. Tony Sizemore said the new software was made possible through a state grant, and that Cape Coral was of the few, if not the only, municipal law enforcement agency in the state to have the software.
He said the software is a new “crime solving tool,” one that will make the Cape Coral Police Department even more efficient at fighting crime.
“A lot of people think we’re just writing tickets and giving kids a hard time. But this equipment, this is something the citizens of this city can be proud of,” Sizemore said.
Each crime scene technician works, on average, 10 cases per week, four and half hours on each case.
Saving as much time as possible is important, Lawrence Stringham said, because productivity increases.
More productivity in CSI labs, means more crimes are being solved.
“We’re the only ones that can speak for a victim,” Stringham said.