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Similar Technology Used in West Fargo to Find Criminals - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Similar Technology Used in West Fargo to Find Criminals

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Friday's events in Boston come just hours after law enforcement released photos of the suspects.

The digitally enhanced images and video provided clear looks of the two men before and after the bombings took place. Similar technology is being used in our own backyard to find criminals.

The enhanced pictures and video that look like they came from a "CSI" episode. But sorry "CSI" lovers, what you see in the news and what you see on the TV crime dramas are two completely different things.

West Fargo Police Detective Derek Cruff says, "You're limited as to what's actually in the picture. We can't make things appear that aren't there."

So how then has law enforcement arrived with these images? It was done by using a similar system the West Fargo Police Department uses.

"The system is designed for doing video enhancement. Taking video from anything from camcorders to in-house recording systems at a gas station," says Detective Cruff.

West Fargo's technology is a system designed specifically for law enforcement. Once Cruff loads the video into the computer, he can do any number of things.

He says, "We can slow things down, speed things up. We can control the size." There are hundreds of possibilities for enhancing single frames to get a clear enough picture to identify criminals.

Detective Cruff says as far as he knows, there is nothing else out there like this, but oddly enough, he also says the system is being used less and less.

"What we're getting from the beginning point is a much higher quality video," he says.

Cruff says the initial quality makes all the difference. The higher the quality, the less enhancement work he has to do. The same thing has made the work for law enforcement in Boston much easier as well.

"Just think in a case like this how many cameras they got their hands, how many different video angles that were available," says the detective.

The system used in West Fargo was funded through a federal grant.

Cruff says it is the only technology of its kind in the state. He says they get video from law enforcement all around the state to work on.

The system is used for everything from gas drive offs to shoplifting and robberies. Sometimes they will use it to get descriptions of vehicles if the images are not clear enough.

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