DUPONT -- After hearing public concern, the DuPont Police Department has a new low-tech way to protect the community from distracting and disturbing crime scenes.
The department is one of the first in the country to utilize “Barrier Screens,” which shield prying eyes from sensitive scenes. They are tall, clearly marked and come with police lights.
The new tool is in response to an incident months ago.
“The scene was exposed to the community. Kids were going to school, parents were headed to work,” said Chief Bob Sheehan.
According to police, the images were traumatizing.
“They’ll stick with them forever so if we can help them avoid that emotional trauma this is one way towards doing that,” said Mike Cummings, a patrol officer.
The screens are also intended to prevent prying eyes from causing traffic jams and help preserve scenes better, leading to more accurate measurements.
“Preservation of the crime scene is important to get to the bottom of the crime and make an arrest,” said Chief Sheehan.
Despite past budget cuts, the department found $4,500 for the barrier screens thanks to an increase in building permit collections and the restructuring of a city B & O Tax.
With $58,000 extra this year, Chief Sheehan also hired an additional police officer.