Computer forensics is becoming more mainstream in litigation and with the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on 12-1-2006, more cases will utilize these rules. With the expected increase in demand for qualified and trained law enforcement professionals, the first computer forensics institute has been announced and will be located in Hoover, Alabama. Construction of the facility is expected to begin by mid-April of 2007, with construction completed by January of 2008. Training is expected to begin in July 2007.
“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,” said Governor Riley. “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.”
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 approximately $3 million dollars to the Center, to be used for build-up expenses. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is providing an additional $9 million dollars, and the U.S. Secret Service is providing 18 full-time agents to help staff the Center.
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. It will include high-tech classrooms, a computer forensic lab, and public education exhibit space.
The Center is expected to train more than 900 law enforcement professionals each year.