Criminals in Monroe County and surrounding areas are hereby given notice that the District Attorney's office has increased its digital forensics capabilities.
The office now has some new, high-tech, crime fighting equipment, a purchase made possible with funds provided by the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program.
The specialized equipment will enable detectives to conduct in-depth forensic computer examinations and the examination of related devices such as USB thumb drives, portable hard drives, gaming systems and even cell phones.
Crimes facilitated by the use of computers and even "offline" crimes such as trafficking illegal narcotics, harassment, robbery and homicide often have some link to the offender's computer, leaving digital evidence that is often missed due to the lack of adequate local resources to recover and analyze the evidence.
Criminals now have less of a chance to cover their digital footprints.
The grant funds have also allowed detectives to seek advanced training as well as highly-regarded computer forensics certifications.
In addition to conducting more thorough investigations, detectives can also explain their findings to the less tech-savvy in a way they can easily understand.
Before this program began, police had to send computers and cellphones to regional laboratories with backlogs of up to a year or more, leaving criminals to walk the streets longer that they ought to.
Now with a more narrow geographic focus, county detectives are able to provide digital evidence in a timelier manner, increasing the efficiency of criminal prosecution.
The digital forensics program also lends technical support to other law enforcement agencies during their investigations involving computers and cell phones.
The primary mission of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program is to serve the digital forensic examination needs of local and state law enforcement agencies operating within Monroe County in the pursuit of justice and to provide evidence that would otherwise go unnoticed to investigators.
Digital forensics is the recovery, examination and analysis of evidence contained in the memory of digital devices in a manner that preserves the original data on the device.
More information can be found the District Attorney's website.