Police get high-tech training to catch criminals

February 18, 2011 3:15:54 PM PST
The Philadelphia Police Department got to learn how to use equipment that'll soon put them one step ahead of other police departments across the country thanks to the FBI.

They trained on a system called DIVERT, short for Digital Image Video Response Team.

"Most detective divisions might have a couple computers, but nothing portable to go out into the field, which is what you really need to receive video of a crime scene," said Bastian Freund of the FBI.

At $8,000 a piece, each kit includes a laptop, high end software, and a digital camera. There are 10 kits in all.

"This is hard stuff, it's not easy. Production is hard - you may have an hour worth of video and it comes down to two minutes where your real money shot is, so it's important to have the training, have the workshops," said Lt. Ray Evers of the Philadelphia Police.

This collaboration between the police dept and the FBI came out of a tragedy - the killing of Officer Chuck Cassidy in 2007. He was gunned down after walking into a robbery in progress at a Dunkin Donuts.

"We literally flew the video recorder down to Quantico to work on it," said Freund.

It took several days to get that video back from Quantico. Now, with these new kits, detectives will be able to get images out to the public within hours.

"There's video cameras everywhere in the city and the more images we get out there, the better chances some ex-girlfriend, some college roommate is going to call in and say, 'Hey, I think that looks like so-and-so," Freund said.

That's exactly what happened in the Sabina O'Donnell case. She was murdered in June of last year while riding to her home in Kensington on her bicycle.

One day after police released the video of Sabina O'Donnell's alleged killer, he was identified, and later arrested.

Officials are hoping the new equipment will help them crack more cases.