Florence Police soon to get new equipment

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Soon, some new equipment will help police officers in Florence spend more time solving crimes, and less time investigating accidents.

Within the next month or so, investigators with the Florence Police Department will be able to gather more information when they work crash scenes.

Money for this equipment came from a state grant, not from your tax dollars.

"We have to justify the need for this law enforcement equipment," Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said.

Chief Heidler said soon, the department will get new equipment to help them solve major crimes and major vehicle accidents.

"This is something that we generally have to rely on other agencies for, like the South Carolina Highway Patrol," Heidler said.

Any time there is crash involving a fatality or any other type of major accident, the state's accident investigation team brings in equipment which helps gather information about what happened leading up to the accident.

"If you are self-contained, you can investigate those accidents yourself, and things get done a little bit more rapidly," Heidler said.

"We will be able to put the three-dimensional images in, as well as pinpoint when the impact of the car took place," Sergeant Jerri James said.

"It's called a total station, and what is it's basically a laser measuring device, a precise measure device that can be downloaded into a specific software program," Heidler said.

Officers said the upgrade will save man power and time during any wrecks investigated.

"This is going to save us hours and hours of man power hours out there walking it through. Right now that's what we have to do walk every step through and measure with tape and spray everything," James said.

The new equipment will also be able to help during murder investigations.

The software upgrades cost right around $27,000.

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