by Zora Asberry
MIDLAND - The Midland Police Department has a brand new device, called the XCAT Capillary Analysis Test. It's all because of a generous donation from Concho Resources, an oil and gas company in Midland.
The police department has already utilized their donation money by purchasing the device, which is used to detect gun powder residue from spent shell casings within five to ten minutes.
Price Robinson, Chief of Police for the Midland Police Department, said, "We're so appreciative and grateful to Concho, who reached out to us toward the end of last year. They asked, 'what can we do for the Midland Police Department? Do you have some needs or issues that we can help you with?' One of those items was the XCAT. Now, with the XCAT, it gives the results just instantly."
In the past, the Midland Police Department would collect samples and send them to a lab for processing. With the XCAT, the Crime Scene Unit is given results instantly that are then sent to the lab for verification.
Marty Barrett, Identification Supervisor of the Crime Scene Unit, said, "If we had multiple shooters and we're trying to figure out which one actually fired the gun, this should expedite our investigative leads tremendously."
The XCAT is proven to be 99% effective when it comes to gun powder residue testing. Once a sample is taken, the device analyzes it by showing a red or green signal indicating "detection" or no detection.
"You would actually wipe the hand to get everything that's down in every little crevice and crack because most of the gunshot residue is minuscule. It's not visible to the naked eye but it will pick up on here," Barrett said.
Barrett also says that the XCAT helps save taxpayer dollars that may have been spent paying for the cost of sending off the samples for testing.