The Importance of Digital Evidence

It is common for Law Enforcement to receive federal grants which are used for many things, including equipment purchases (bulletproof vests, new weapons, new police cars), training and just about anything else that law enforcement needs to protect the community. But what happens when a State Attorney uses a federal grant to start a digital lab?

On August 13, 2008, Connecticut’s Assistant State Attorney, Richard J. Colangelo, helped launch a digital forensic lab initiative via a federal grant. Despite the grant no longer being offered by the Department of Justice, he recognized the value the digital lab provided to his community and found a way to not only maintain it but grow it as well.  

Based on a model created by Colangelo, the Digital Lab was funded jointly by the nine Connecticut towns of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Weston, Wilton, Westport, and Easton. Colangelo built a model where all 9 towns jointly fund the digital lab. “This week, the digital lab trained 11 more investigators,” Colangelo said, “this class will bring the number of trained digital forensic investigators to 22.”

“Why does it matter so much to you and what you do?”

Since every case being addressed today involves digital evidence, the importance of the cell phone has come to the center of the investigative process. “Everybody has their cell phone with them…people’s lives are on their phones,” adds Colangelo. “It [Cellebrite UFED 4PC] extracts information from the phone that the officers can use to investigate. It’s not like other forensics.” – Source

Most people might be surprised to learn that the average 32-Gigabyte phone produces over 8 million pages of data, so reviewing this information manually could take years without the right tools. According to Westport Police Chief, Foti Koskinas, “As we sat through this [the training class], I realized that technology is already getting past us.” “My job is to be proactive. We can’t wait. We need to get ahead of it. Every minute that passes that we are not immediately able to investigate, there’s a potential for a loss of data and evidence.”

Law enforcement recognizes the importance of digital evidence to their investigations. But not all agencies fully understand how to fund a digital forensic lab, but not doing so, may impact your next case.  Finding and adopting the right tools are critical to keeping your community safe.

At Cellebrite we deliver tools designed to allow the people closest to the case to process and analyze the data to make the right decision. Contact us to see how we can you help you set up your own digital forensic lab using our advanced unlocking, extraction, and analyzation tools designed for examiners, investigators, and senior officials.

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