The Brunswick Police Department established a collision reconstruction unit in 1999. The purpose of the team is to assist patrol officers with crashes involving extensive property damage, death, or those that may involve criminal prosecution where culpability or fault must be determined.
The Collision Reconstruction Unit will also assume responsibility for certain traffic safety assignments when assigned by the Command Staff and are actively involved with the instruction of new officers at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, as well as the Brunswick Police Department Field Training program.
Qualifications & Training
Officers who are assigned to the reconstruction unit have demonstrated a strong background in the crash investigation. Officers are selected based on a specific process and then attend a total of 240 hours of initial training, broken down into three phases. The scope of the training focuses on many different aspects of crash reconstruction.
The first phase includes a discussion of:
- Crash Scene Photography
- Human Elements
- Physical Evidence
- Scale Diagramming
- Skid Mark Analysis
The second phase continues with:
- Conservation of Momentum
- Kinetic Energy
- Lamp Analysis
- Time/Distance/Motion Equations
- Tire Damage Evaluation
- Vector Sum Analysis
The final phase focuses on the derivation and application of common formulas, based on Newton’s Laws of Motion. Topics include the determination of speed using conservation of linear momentum, commercial motor vehicle and motorcycle dynamics, as well as numerous practical applications in controlled vehicle experiments.
Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction
In addition, officers assigned to the Collision Reconstruction Unit have successfully passed the certification process for the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (A.C.T.A.R). The organization, formed in 1985, establishes minimum standards for Traffic Reconstruction Specialists from around the world, including those in law enforcement, engineers, and in the private consulting business.
For more information on the Brunswick Police Department’s Collision Reconstruction Unit, please email Commander Paul Hansen.