Police work isn't just bullets and billy clubs anymore: It's gone super high-tech.
The latest gadget, a camera that can photograph and preserve unseen evidence, could revolutionize how cops collect and process evidence.
Local police got a chance Wednesday to check it out, when they signed up for Crime Scene Photography 101 at the Anderson County Courthouse Annex.
The class on forensic and crime-scene digital photography included an introduction to the latest in law enforcement photography: the Fuji XT-1. The price: a hefty two grand for the body, and $4,500 for the complete kit.
But the new Fuji also saves law enforcement time and money, class organizers said. Among other things, the camera shortens valuable processing time by detecting evidence -- without having to send it to a statewide crime lab.
The Fuji X-T1 operates on the visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet spectrums. It can spot latent fingerprints, blood stains, bruising, skin disruptions, and ink applications, such as forged checks, without damaging the evidence with chemicals that degrade and dilute it.
Could the Palestine Police Department use one? No doubt, said Asst. Chief Mark Harcrow, hoping the City Council is listening.
“Anything that can help in the investigative process, and speed up the processing of evidence is a good thing,” Harcrow said. “It's not something we can feasibly consider at the moment, but perhaps we can revisit it during the next budget cycle.”
Texas Forensic Associates, a private company co-founded by former Palestine Police Officer Nick Webb, and Anderson County Sheriff candidate and former Texas Ranger Rudy Flores, sponsored the three-day class for area law enforcement.
Flores said his company is not paid by Fuji, nor is it a Fuji vendor.
“If a better camera comes along, we're going to use it,” he said. “We work for the city. We work for the victim; we work for the suspect. We work for the truth.”