Vast technological improvements over the past years have lead to greater efficiencies and access to information. In the same stroke, these advancements have also opened up additional avenues for cyber related crime. From stolen identities to credit card fraud, cybercrime is rapidly growing – causing public safety agencies to evolve how they combat corruption.
Jeff DeJonge, an officer with the East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department, recently completed a five-week training course at the National Computer Forensic Institute in Birmingham, Al.
Established in 2008, the NCFI is a federally funded training center dedicated to instructing state and local officials in digital evidence and cyber crime investigations. During the course, DeJonge received extensive training and education on current cyber crime trends, investigative methods and prosecutorial and judicial challenges.
DeJonge said one of the greatest benefits to the City from his attendance is the ability to analyze evidence at the department instead of sending it to an outside agency – leading to greater efficiencies and faster service.
“As cybercrimes continue to rise, we need to have the skills and tools necessary to fight 21st century crime,” DeJonge said. “Having this training will prove very valuable and allow us to better serve our residents.”
Along with the training, DeJonge brought more than $20,000 in state-of-the-art equipment back to the City including a TALINO forensic workstation, which can be used to analyze computer hard drives for evidence. Additionally, he received a laptop and write blockers for use in the field as well as an extensive library of forensic software.
“Beyond the incredible training and cutting edge equipment, this was also a great opportunity for me to network with other agencies across the country,” DeJonge continued. “My classmates and I still regularly connect to troubleshoot and for advice on cases – it’s extremely helpful to have this network of public safety professionals focused on fighting cybercrime.”
DeJonge was able to attend the course at no cost to the City.