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Vanderburgh County Cyber Crimes Task Force

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $339,986)

Expansion of digital communications technology means traditional crimes scenes are quickly transforming into digital challenges for investigators.  Properly obtained and analyzed digital evidence results in more actionable successful prosecution of violent criminals.  Why aren’t more law enforcement agencies able to meet these challenges?  Lack of money for expensive equipment, lack of time to comb through the sheer volume of evidence, lack of personnel trained to perform digital extractions, and agencies that are reluctant to change from an old-school mentality.

Key members of the criminal justice community within Vanderburgh County, Indiana are requesting continued grant funding through the United States Department of Justice – Bureau of Justice Assistance Innovative Prosecution Solutions for the continued growth of the Vanderburgh County Cyber Crimes Task Force.  To be transparent, the Vanderburgh County Cyber Crimes Task Force was awarded grant funding through the BJA Justice Reinvestment Initiative in FY 20.  Unexpectedly in the first quarter of implementation for that grant funding, the VCCCTF was also approached by the ATF, DEA, and EVSC (third largest school district in Indiana) to also conduct forensic examinations of digital devices for their cases.  The need is growing.  And now the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office and VCCCTF are seeking additional funding to allow for the growth necessary to keep up with demand of Southwestern Indiana agencies.

The VCCCTF is seamless channel for processing, reviewing, and implementing key pieces of digital forensic evidence into higher conviction rates.  The Vanderburgh County Cyber Crimes Task Force is providing critical support services to local, state, and federal law enforcement in digital evidence recovery.

This task force is modeled after existing programs within Indiana and research from the University of Alabama Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Indiana legislators are starting to take notice of the success of these tasks forces.  House Bill 1082, that would provide funding to 10 cyber crime task forces across the state, passed out of the Indiana Senate and is awaiting Governor Eric Holcomb’s signature.

Date Created: December 2, 2021