Oklahoma Officers, Troopers Gain Extra Skills To Investigate Wrecks
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Law enforcement officers from all across Green Country are learning better ways to investigate accidents.
A grant from the Oklahoma Highway Safety office is paying for the advanced training in Broken Arrow and it's making officers “even better at their jobs.”
Usually officers don't see first-hand what causes a car to come to a screeching stop, but Friday, during a mock situation, they got to, and they learned new skills in the process.
"It's like a big jigsaw puzzle you are working to put the pieces back together," said Broken Arrow Police Sergeant, Thomas Cooper.
Police officers from Broken Arrow, Owasso and other areas, along with state troopers used Broken Arrow's Chisholm Trail South Park as a classroom to learn advanced methods of investigating a crash.
“Most is basic algebra or trig functions. For the typical officer to come in here and start working the math, it's something we aren't use to," Cooper said.
The investigators used tools along skid marks, and things like measuring wheels and tapes to try and figure out how fast a car was going when it crashed.
One factor that comes into play is the type of surfaces the accidents happen on - whether it's concrete asphalt or even grass - all of it factors into the final mathematical calculation.
"Most likely fatality crash is when we are going to go in this in-depth of investigation," said OHP Trooper Russell Cissne.
He said the measurements gathered at a scene are analyzed over and over again.
“It could take months or even a year possibly, to have all the evidence to do an accurate investigation," Cissne said.
Authorities try to answer every question that family members of someone killed in car accident may have.
“What actually caused the collision, what were the factors involved, were they sleepy, was there a break malfunction? So you put all those variables together and you get that end product this is you can see with some confidence what happened,” Cooper said.
Officers have one more week of training before they put their new skills to use out on the streets.