Forensic Technology at the Fingers of Investigators

You may be surprised by exactly how much information about yourself is stored on your cell phone or computer. Now, law enforcement agencies across Kansas are using those clues to fight crime and accessing forensic evidence, right from their desktops. "Everything from terrorism to child pornography to identity theft to complex theft schemes," says Corporal Thad Winkleman of the types of crimes they work on at the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

Forensic Technology at the Fingers of Investigators

Source: WIBW web site

Updated: 6:31 PM Oct 19, 2006
Stephanie Wurtz

You may be surprised by exactly how much information about yourself is stored on your cell phone or computer. Now, law enforcement agencies across Kansas are using those clues to fight crime and accessing forensic evidence, right from their desktops. "Everything from terrorism to child pornography to identity theft to complex theft schemes," says Corporal Thad Winkleman of the types of crimes they work on at the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

In this day in age, investigators trace digital fingerprints in just about every crime. "Computers hold a lot of information and that information traces to other information, " says Winkleman, "a lot of people think they're more anonymous on the computer, so they're more vulnerable with information, we look at that information, interpret it and report it back to the investigative agency." Winkleman is a member of the Shawnee County Sheriff's Department stationed in Kansas City. Investigators send evidence to the lab, people like Winkleman then complete a work up and format the evidence so the investigators can access it from their own computers.

"So they can go through and see what's relevant and pertinent to the investigation," says lab director Kevin Steck of how the process aids investigations. Being able to access that forensic report speeds up the investigation and that means catching more criminals. "It makes them more efficient in the investigating and that means it gives them another tool for the war on crime," Steck says. The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office is one of more than a dozen law enforcement agencies taking part in the program.

[Original Article on the WIBW.com web site ]