Investigative agencies are required to upgrade their equipment on a regular basis to keep up with the demands of cutting edge forensic techniques. The Hudson County’s Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) recently purchased a CSI van to help them investigate criminal cases. The van. worth over $100,000, will now enable CSI agents to better carry out their jobs – even while on the move.
The newly acquired CSI van will allow detectives to process onsite evidence faster, which can be a crucial advantage in many cases. Testing equipment has been installed on the van so investigators can conduct an initial analysis of evidence retrieved from a crime scene. The van also has a refrigerator, which can be used to preserve evidence.
The CSI van, commonly known as the Freightliner Sprinter, was purchased using HCPO’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund. The trust fund is made up of assets that have been either seized or forfeited during criminal investigations and are now property of the state.
CSI agents are required to film crime scene areas during on-site inspections so that the footage can be analysed later in the lab. Since the van is fully equipped with computers, detectives can now rerun videos of the crime scenes right from the van, which helps them develop a better understanding of the case sooner. The van has also been mounted with flood lights to help illuminate crime scenes during the night.
The CSI van also houses other equipment, one of which can be used to obtain 360 degree images of the crime scene. All the vans computers are connected to various law enforcement databases, so investigators can conduct quick searches on any possible suspects. While the van is primarily being used for investigating homicidal cases, officers say it can also be used for narcotics, sexual assault and arson cases as well.