Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $340,000)
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office (BCPO) is requesting $340,000 in funds from the FY21 USDOJ Smart Prosecution – Innovative Prosecution Solutions Program to deploy technologies and enhance digital forensics capabilities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of prosecuting major crimes. Funds will be used to expand resources in the BCPO’s High-Tech Crime Lab, establish a mobile high-tech crime lab, purchase Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) systems, and onboard an Intelligence Analyst who will focus specifically on supporting investigations of our most violent crimes, aided by technology. Through this project focus, the BCPO will address the IPS Program objectives by both establishing and expanding resources and training that will build capacity for digital forensic investigations in ways that will more effectively and sustainably prevent and respond to crime; increasing formal collaborations with local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in effective and consistent ways to increase public safety; using technology, intelligence, and data to collect digital forensics data for use in criminal prosecutions; and, increase analytical staff in order to support investigations of homicides and similar violent crimes.
The project will be implemented in Burlington County, New Jersey, the largest county by area in New Jersey at 820 square miles. The project will further target high crime, high poverty, and rural areas through the use of technology and enhanced training and capabilities. Funds will be used to purchase a mobile high-tech crime lab that can travel to crime scenes across the County’s large geography, expand space in the existing High-Tech Crime Lab, deploy ALPR at strategic locations for tracking suspects, and onboarding an Intelligence Analyst that will focus specifically on digital forensics in the investigation and prosecution of major crimes. Expanding the High-Tech Crime Lab will allow the BCPO to replicate the task-force model with local law enforcement agencies on a rotating schedule, deliver training, and build local capacity to collect digital evidence in ways that reduce caseload and improve outcomes. In addition to the benefits to the BCPO prosecutors and investigators, local law enforcement agencies will benefit from enhanced training, coordination, and capabilities. Overall, the project will provide immediate and long-term benefits for our combined efforts to prosecute child pornography cases, child exploitation cases, drug-induced-death investigations, homicides, and all of the other cases for which the BCPO and our local partners rely upon digital evidence and technology solutions.