Carly Kempler of NBC 29 reported that the Albemarle County Police Department (ACPD) has created a new lab specifically for the investigation of cybercrimes. The lab’s unveiling was March 10, 2020. Located inside the police department headquarters, the new lab has various new equipment to assist officers in their task of identifying, collecting, and examining digital evidence. ACPD Detective Michael Wells said “Two of us are generally working full time every day in here to try and get caught up, because it is very time consuming and time sensitive to get some of this material analyzed.”
Many of the crimes that the lab investigates are case related to child sex exploitation; however, additional digital evidence in other cases is examined in the lab as well. “Most recently we had a shooting case that we’re currently working, and we were able to take the cell phones from the folks that were involved, download that data, and actually gain intelligence” Wells stated.
The creation of the new cybercrimes lab is sure to be helpful addition, the previous lab only had one machine equipped to perform analysis, while the new lab has three computers. The ACPD also plans on training additional detectives to work in the new lab, and estimates that the project cost is more than $100,000. The official release from the police department, which can be found in the NBC 29 article, states that the funding for the lab came from asset forfeiture and grant funds from partners such as the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (SOVA ICAC) and from the U.S. Secret Service. The department received around $60,000 from the SOVA ICAC task force for equipment, training and operations.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology