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Basic Crime Scene Mapping with Total Station Technology

Primary Course Instructors: Michael J. Hochrein (FBI, ret)

This course is designed for law enforcement personnel who have been, or will be, tasked with crime scene documentation through mapping or diagramming techniques.  Specifically, attendees will be introduced to the theory and practice of crime scene mapping as it relates to the operation of total station technology.  Through lecture, table-top exercises, demonstrations, and practical exercises in mock scenes, attendees will learn the basic math and physics behind the operation of total station instruments and how more rudimentary manual techniques relate to advances in technology.  Attendees will also understand logistical approaches to mapping both indoor and outdoor crime scenes.  As it relates to criminal investigation, attendees will also understand the importance of preserving the digital evidence collected with advanced technology such as the total station, in order that it can be processed by themselves, laboratory specialists, or outside specialists toward the construction of investigative and trial exhibits. 


As law enforcement agencies acquire electronic technology used to document crime scenes through measurements, (i.e. total stations, scanners, global positioning systems), a tendency exists for the operators of that equipment to understand what buttons to push to get readings, but less an understanding of how the equipment computes those readings, or the importance of calibration, proper set-up, datum selection, and field validation prior to survey.  Forensic surveying with optical and electronic instruments is a perishable skill.  This course acts both as an introductory course for total station operators and crime scene mappers, but also a refresher course for current operators.  This course is not a vehicular accident reconstruction course although Trooper Jester will provide examples and go over those types of scenes.


The Westmoreland County Coroner’s facilities are located at 2503 South Grande Boulevard, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601.  In addition to being near the County seat and its amenities, the facility has free parking and is a short drive from restaurants, fast food, gas, motel, and stores on Route 30.

Postponed: 2021 Date TBA


*Approved for 27 credit hours of MPOETC approved CLEE*

*Approved for 8 hours for IAI Initial Crime Scene certification and recertification*


Check out our course syllabus!

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