Is That A…CSI In Your Pocket?

CSI in your pocket

Officers, both real and fictional, have taken advantage of rapidly advancing technology, using the sci-fi-esque gadgets in the never-ending task of fighting crime. And many modern crime-fighting tools and weapons have taken on a James Bondish flair, such as rifles capable of firing around 90 degree corners, and laser-guided, missile-like bullets.

Thinking back to the first portable phone installed in a police car I once drove, a take-home sheriff’s office patrol vehicle, well, the phone was not very portable. Not at all.

Technicians mounted a huge box of something—wires, batteries, and perhaps even a Flintstone cartoon character pedaling a cycle-like contraption that generated enough power to run the thing. The “thing” attached the passenger side floorboard, near the “hump, beside the radio console and light and siren controls. A large handset was tethered to the box via a long curly black wire, like the telephones we once had in our homes (younger folks would be amazed to learn that we once had to stand or sit in one spot to talk to Aunt Sally, Uncle Billy Bob, or friends from school).

Then came the bag phones. Remember how cool it was to finally be able to carry your phone with you, even while in the grocery store. Ah, so portable…

Of course, phones are different now. And we’re able to use them to text, check emails, stocks, and Facebook. We can Tweet, Tweetdeck, and Twitter away, all while driving 80mph on the freeway, simultaneously eating a Big Mac, fiddling with the satellite radio, glancing at the morning paper, swigging from a coffee cup, and, believe it or not, answer the occasional phone call.

There’s an app for this and an app for that. Here an app, there an app. Apps are EVERYWHERE! — apps for news, bowling, TV shows, radio programs, police scanners, HuffPo, CNN, Fox, Words With Friends, Occupy, Don’t Occupy, Newt, Mitt, Herm, Sarah, Obama, ETrade, Scottrade, star charts, Scrabble…and there’s even an app that produces sounds like the after-effects of a large bean burrito.

How about the app that I’m quite sure Lanie Parish has on her phone, the iVoodoo app, designed to allow the user to stick pins in the enemy of their choosing.

And let’s not forget the Atomic Zit Popper app for those of you who’d like a stroll down memory lane. Yes, for hours at a time you and your friends can squish, pop, and squirt zits until your little fingers wear to the bone. A real explosion of fun.

And now (drum roll, please) there’s an app for the folks who’s job it is to respond to crime scenes. Yes, the new app, Pocket CSI, designed by Law Enforcement Training and Resource Group LLC. is for first responders and CSI’s. Actually, LETRG’s program is an entire suite of applications for all smart phones (a camera with a phone is a must—crime scene photography, you know).

Included in the application are tools of the trade, such as a caliper, blood spatter trajectory calculator, DOA notes, skid mark calculator, GPS indicator and marker for the crime scene and individual items of evidence, compass, level, minimum speed of travel, note-taking recorder, digital dimension calculator, automatic case file and evidence numbering system, a complete set of reference files, and much, much more. The reference files alone—Miranda, weapons identifier, pupil size identifier, etc. is worth the installation of the application.

Why, this app even has the capability to give you the position of the victim and the killer when the fatal blow was delivered. That’s right, by taking a photo of the blood spatter at the scene the app automatically calculates, using the major and minor axis of the droplets, the number of pixels wide and long, and then provides the angles, instead of doing it the old fashioned way. You know, as Dexter would do it.

The Pocket CSI stores all information in separate, files—blood spatter information in one, DOA notes in another, etc., and when you’re ready, simply transfer it all to a single DVD.

All for less than 80 bucks. Now that’s a deal.

Of course, the Atomic Zit Popper app is only $1.99. I wonder, though, if it calculates the spatter angles…


14 replies
  1. J Q Rose
    J Q Rose says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed on the new technology. No, I don’t have the smart phone….yet, but what a great app to have the mc using.!! We had a “bag phone” way back when…terrible reception, but it boggled my mind to have a phone in the car. Now phones are everywhere…love the hubby who calls his wife from Walmart to see what kind of jelly to buy…

  2. Jackie Edwards
    Jackie Edwards says:

    Hi Lee,
    I have a question and I don’t know where to answer it. Maybe that CSI in your pocket gadget would do it. Body in a basement of an empty house (heat set at about 50 in a northern clime in winter). Found about a week after death. What would he look like? Smell like? Any suggestions as to where to go to get this answered (without bringing the FBI to my door)?

  3. Rebecca Butler
    Rebecca Butler says:

    Hey, Lee, amusing AND nostalgic! What I want to know is this: where do you get the great images? Dick Tracy, the Flintstones–doesn’t this cost money? Copyright? And where can I get some for the blog I dream of creating when I grow up?

  4. SZ
    SZ says:

    Zit popper ? Eewwwww

    The CSI app sounds amazing.

    I was watching CSI just the other day and noticed one of the guys say that “maybe she walked in on a robbery”. Shouldn’t it be walked in a burglary ?

  5. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    Maybe the NYPD can put the CSI app on Lanie’s phone? Would that help her prognosis each week?

  6. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Wow, this is so cool! I could have used this when Hubby cut his hand when a glass pot exploded in the cabinet. He tapped them while emptying the dishwasher. As it was, I followed the blood trail and found the chip that cut him. Of couse, I did all this all after treating him as a first responder. Note to the unexperienced: DO NOT GAB CHEAP PAPER NAPKINS TO STOP THE BLEEDING…THEY STICK TO SKIN, MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR WIFE TO TREAT THE CUT.

    Totally love your blog, Lee.

  7. Krista
    Krista says:

    This is too cool! I don’t own an iPhone – I know, still in the dark ages in more ways than one. I think I’m stuck in the 70’s – but anyone can purchase this app? You don’t have to be law enforcement? Just think of the possibilities if your villain, a disgruntled wannabe investigator for instance, gets his hands on this so he can “practice” on crime scenes of his own making. What fun…

  8. Patti Phillips
    Patti Phillips says:

    Great article as always, Lee. Last season’s ‘Top Shot’ included an episode with a new gun that shot around corners. Seemed too tricky for even the very experienced contestants. Scientific advances sometimes look good on paper, but in actual field use? One wonders.

  9. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    The apps are Cool. (Okay, maybe not the zit popper). I worry about the fancy rifles and missiles, though, because it seems like the bad guys are the only ones that can afford them! I really hate it when my cops are out-gunned. Really. Hate. It.

  10. Teresa Reasor
    Teresa Reasor says:

    I don’t remember the atomic zit popper. THANK GOD! But this app does sound useful. The world will one day decide to replace the human component with robots and human’s will no longer be needed. Too bad the bad guys will still be around.

    I so much enjoy your blog!
    Teresa R.

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