Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $57,217)
The City of Saco is requesting $57,217 in funding from the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant for the purchase of new equipment to replace the out dated existing Computer Forensics Lab as well as another additional set of equipment to be utilized in the field as a portable lab as described below.
The Saco Police Department (SPD) is one of the top 10 largest municipal law enforcement departments in the State, and serves the city of Saco with a population of 18,877 citizens.
The Computer forensics equipment currently being used by SPD Computer Forensics Lab is at its end of life and does not meet the needs for the department, hampering the labs ability to effectively retrieve data and information from cell phones, computer, tablets and all associated digital technology and equipment in a timely and efficient manner and in receiving quality result to assist in the prosecution of these crimes.
Through acquisition of this new equipment SPD will be able to increase the number of digital forensic examinations conducted. We are currently doing 200-300 forensic examinations with equipment that is nearly at the end of its usable lifecycle. This new equipment would provide SPD the ability to complete more forensics exams as well as eliminate back log of examinations that are waiting and in turn have the ability to prosecute cases in a more timely fashion and hold suspects accountable. The second ability of having the portable Forensics Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED) would be used as a mobile lab to be taken out to crime scenes which would limit the ability to have to bring the device back to SPD for examination.
This will also increase redundancy by relieving personnel of the work involved in transporting items needing examination to be brought back to SPD. Interoperability is the key to achieving the Labs goal of reducing backlog while achieving a high rate of forensic examinations. The success of this system will be monitored through the collection of statistical data, in which positive results are recorded and compared to past years results, statistics, and findings.
SPD has actively researched available products to assist the Computer forensics Lab in attaining this new equipment to replace the existing equipment one is 6 years old and the other forensics device is 10 years old. The Mobile equipment will provide a new capability that only one other entity has in the State of Maine. Due to the size of Maine we have identified that another mobile lab setup is needed to cover the States large area and population.
Presently all forensic examination that takes place in southern Maine comes to SPD. We are also completing a large amount of the forensic examination for local, state and federal agencies in southern Maine.