With new true crime and crime-inspired shows flooding today’s media, it’s difficult to keep track of which technologies are actually real and which are figments of studio executives’ imaginations. Join C2ST, UChicago’s Crime Lab, the Chicago Police Department, and the FBI to learn about the real technology behind crime-solving efforts.
Sergeant Patrick Kinney and Matt Triano will discuss how Area Technology Centers (ATC) comprise an important part of the Chicago Police Department’s Strategic Plan to improve clearance rates. Video and digital evidence are increasingly important components of successfully clearing cases, especially in situations where witness cooperation is difficult due to fear of retaliation and lack of trust. Previously, the Chicago Police Department experienced difficulties in quickly retrieving and analyzing video evidence because the right equipment and technology were not available. The ATCs support the Bureau of Detectives by developing investigative leads through the use of technology which in turn frees up detectives to interview witnesses and pursue other leads.
James Coleman will discuss his work at the FBI’s Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. With the proliferation of digital devices, today’s criminal investigations often rely on evidence stored on computers, smartphones, and other connected tools. Performing digital forensic examinations on that evidence is the specialty of the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) program. Created in 2000, the RCFL program is a partnership between the FBI and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating a regional, digital forensic task force. The laboratories provide forensic services and expertise to support law enforcement agencies in collecting and examining digital evidence for a wide range of investigations, including child pornography, terrorism, violent crime, and fraud. As with all evidence gathering and analysis, it takes a trained and skilled hand to gather digital evidence correctly and legally while preserving the integrity of the data and files. RCFLs provide law enforcement access to digital forensics experts and also allow state and local personnel to train on cutting-edge evidence gathering techniques.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun