Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $95,585)
The Suffolk County Police Department is a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services accredited police agency operating within Suffolk County, New York, which has a population of 1.5 million and spreads over 912 square miles with a western border only 20 miles from NYC. SCPD enjoys a working relationship with all of the law enforcement, State, Federal, and County agencies active in Suffolk County and its personnel are often called on to assist in investigations.
SCPD employs industry-wide recognized practices/procedures in its daily operations which include forensic analysis of cellular/internet based devices and the analysis of latent print evidence. It is the only law enforcement agency in Suffolk County able to perform forensic analysis on cellular and internet based devices and is responsible for crime scene photography and latent print analysis at all Part 1 Violent Crime scenes.
The Computer Crimes and Identification Sections, responsible for cellular and fingerprint analysis respectively, are struggling to maintain forensic analysis capabilities in the face of changing technologies, smarter criminals, and smaller budgets. Both Sections provide expert court testimony on procedures used to gather and analyze evidence.
Currently the SCPD Computer Crimes Section is unable to forensically process locked, password protected, or broken cellphones and other mobile devices. The Section possesses neither the equipment nor the training to do so.
The SCPD Identification Section, responsible for latent print analysis done off photographs, is operating with old and outdated cameras. The project goal is to improve the quality and timeliness of our current forensic output by enhancing our forensic analysis abilities through the purchase of up-to-date forensic analysis equipment and training for SCPD Computer Crimes and Identification Sections which will provide us with capabilities we do not currently possess, the ability to access the data on locked, password protected or broken cellphones and other mobile devices, and an improvement in the capabilities we currently have, the ability to create clearer more comprehensive digital images for fingerprint analysis.
The anticipated result will be an increase in the amount and types of analysis we will be able to perform and in the quality of the results, thus increasing case investigation clearance rates and criminal trial conviction percentages.
In order to locate and successfully prosecute those who commit crimes, investigators charged with the task of forensic analysis must be adequately trained in new techniques and have access to the most current forensic tools available.