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HOOVER, AL—Governor Bob Riley officially announced that the nation’s first National Computer Forensics Institute will be located in Hoover. Governor Riley was joined in this announcement by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Senator Jeff Sessions, and Congressman Spencer Bachus.
“With the ever-increasing prevalence of cyber crimes such as identity theft, computer hacking and online child pornography, it is absolutely essential that we equip our law enforcement personnel with the best training and equipment available,” Riley said. “This center will make Alabama the nation’s leader in training our local, state and federal law enforcement to combat high-tech crimes. It will become America’s institution of excellence in the fight against cyber crimes.”
U.S. Secret Service agents will teach computer forensics and digital evidence to national, state and local law enforcement at the center. These agents are in the field and understand the curriculum from a law enforcement perspective.
The center is being funded though a cooperative effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, and state, county, and local governments. The state of Alabama is contributing about $3 million to the center to be used for build-up expenses. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is providing $9 million, and the U.S. Secret Service is providing 18 full-time agents to help staff the center. It will include high-tech classrooms, a computer forensic lab, and public education exhibit space. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by January of 2008. Training is expected to begin in July.
The Alabama District Attorney’s Association stated that incidences and subsequent prosecution of cyber crimes in the state have doubled over the past year. With this kind of increase in cyber crime, the need to train more law enforcement personnel is necessary. The center is expected to train more than 900 law enforcement professionals each year.
Published in Public Safety IT, Nov/Dec 2006
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