Hernando County first to implement new crime fighting tool

A new crime fighting tool is in the hands of Hernando County investigators, and they hope it will help them save time and solve more crimes than ever before. 

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is the first in the country to get the rapid screening tool called the Crime-lite ML PRO. Kinsey Boylan, the director of forensic science at the sheriff’s office, said the device  uses light to detect particles on objects, then takes pictures of its findings and prints a report. 

“It’s going to cut down on the time we spend working on items of evidence. It’s going to find things that could possibly have been missed that aren’t visible to the naked eye,” said Boylan. “It can scan for different types of bodily fluids, fibers, hairs, bone, teeth.”

She said the tool also shortens a workload that could take all day to a fraction of the time.

“This is cutting it down to an hour, two hours,” Boylan said.

Forensic teams usually do their evidence analysis with a handheld tool and googles, but Boylan said the machine helps investigators to be even more thorough.

“If you’re not quite sure or maybe it had several things on it, it has the option of running through every wave length,” said Boylan. “As it runs through that wave length, it photographs that image. So at the end of the scan, you’re able to see several different images lined up.”

After buying the device, the sheriff’s office said cold cases will also get a fresh perspective.

“We most definitely will be pulling out old items of evidence and rescanning them and seeing if there’s anything that we missed or anything the lab missed,” said Boylan.

And that precision could help investigators in the courtroom.

“So when you’re presenting it in court, you can say this is the area on this shirt or on this bedding where we found this particular stain or this particular fiber because it’s captured before anything else is done with it,” she said.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said the tool can help them solve crimes faster by helping them go through important evidence in a new way, and they plan to mainly use it for violent and serious crimes.