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Cyber Sleuths: Creating the High-Tech Investigative Unit

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 52 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2004 Pages: 14-16,18,20
Michael Sheetz
Ed Sanow
Date Published
December 2004
5 pages
This article briefly outlines the steps and equipment necessary in creating a dedicated high-tech investigative response team or unit.
As the use of technology to commit crimes continues to rise, law enforcement agencies are examining whether the time is right to create a dedicated high-tech crime unit within their agencies. In creating a high-tech crime unit, there are many steps that must be taken. First, in selecting personnel for the unit it is necessary and critical to understand that these high-tech crimes require particular personalities. Personality is viewed as a key factor in investigator selection, in addition to the basic requirements necessary for any investigative assignment. Second, an agency must establish a written standard operating procedure (SOP). This entails consulting with experts to ensure the procedures are in keeping with the community standard, the procedures are flexible, and the SOP contains detailed procedures. Third, an agency must properly train all investigators in the most acceptable methods of digital evidence collection and preservation, with training specifically in three areas: hardware, software, and legal issues. Lastly, the agency will need to obtain the necessary equipment, such as hardware, CPU (central processing unit), storage, peripherals, operating systems, consumer software, and Internet.