Computer Crime Research Center


Local police have own cyber-crime fighters

Date: July 27, 2008
By: Jesse Fray

Lawrence Police are ahead of the curve when it comes to fighting cyber crime.

The department has three detectives trained in computer forensics. They investigate crimes such as identity theft, child enticement, child exploitation, pornography and counterfeiting cases, said Sgt. Bill Cory, police spokesman.

“The increased use of computers, mobile telephones, digital cameras, the Internet and other portable electronic devices has forced law enforcement to expand its investigative capabilities,” Cory said.

Lawrence is seeing a backlog of cases, similar to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Few law enforcement agencies have a unit dedicated to computer forensics, said Dave Schroeder, special agent in charge of the KBI’s cyber crimes unit.

“It’s very expensive to have your own dedicated unit,” Schroeder said. “It’s very cost-prohibitive for most departments.”

One Lawrence Police detective is assigned full time to the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in Kansas City, Mo., established by the FBI, which allows Lawrence Police use of federal forensic resources.

The other two Lawrence detectives assigned to computer forensics work out of Lawrence.

“Because of the ever-expanding crime on the Internet, it is very important for the Lawrence Police Department to maintain our computer forensic ability,” Cory said. “This ensures that we can provide the citizens of Lawrence with a full range of police services.”

While Cory said the technology, hardware, software and training for computer forensics were expensive and rare among law enforcement agencies, much of the technology acquisitions and training have been paid for with grant money.

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