The Criminal Reconstruction and Forensic Technicians (CRAFT) Team is an inter-agency team with one full-time and 18 on-call Reconstructionists from 8 agencies operating in Clackamas County. The Clackamas County District Attorney's Office also has Deputy DAs assigned to the team.
CRAFT is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to investigate fatal and serious-injury crashes in Clackamas County -- and assist our Patrol and Detective divisions with crime-scene investigations.
CRAFT team members receive training in collision analysis, speed analysis, vehicle dynamics, occupant kinematics, scene photography, surveying equipment, crash-scene mapping, and computer-aided drawing programs.
They attend the Institute of Police Technology Management at the University of North Florida for a minimum of 240 hours of initial training.
They stay current in accident-investigation trends by attending various training courses and conferences throughout their career.
CRAFT members currently have active memberships in the Forensic Accident Reconstructionists of Oregon, Accident Reconstruction Network and EDR Experts.
Tools and Techniques
CRAFT team members examine and analyze the roadway, physical evidence, and vehicle damage to reconstruct crashes and diagram crime scenes using the latest technology in the forensics field.
The FARO X330 Laser Scanner is able to capture and create a 3D image of the scene allowing CRAFT Reconstructionists to accurately depict what occurred.
The Bosch Crash Data Retrieval Tool allows CRAFT to gather information from vehicles involved in crashes, making the process highly accurate. This information is then entered into FARO Zone 3D software and an accurate animation is created to show exactly what happened in the crash and why.
Mapping these scenes often requires at least a portion of roadway to be shut down while investigators do their work -- in order to protect the evidence and maintain safety for the investigators. The Sheriff's Office recognizes the inconvenience that roadway closures may cause, and makes every effort to reroute traffic and re-open the roadway as soon as possible.
FARO laser-scanning technology helps to limit this road-closure time by speeding up the process while at the same time making it more accurate -- and at a higher level of detail -- than any other method being used around the country.
After the on-scene investigation is complete, the lead investigator is responsible for completing the follow-up investigation. Investigative tasks may include obtaining search warrants for evidence, interviewing drivers, victims, and witnesses, obtaining medical records, downloading and analyzing the collision-related electronic data from the involved vehicles, analyzing headlight filaments, processing blood evidence, and more.
Many of these investigations require a mathematical reconstruction in order to determine vehicle speed, direction, momentum, etc.
The ultimate goal of an investigation is to determine the proximate cause of the collision and to hold those responsible for the collision accountable for their actions by forwarding the case to the appropriate prosecuting authority.