Cybercrime Investigations

Cyber crime has an expansive definition that includes any crime conducted via the Internet, network or digital device. Capturing digital evidence, such as that found on cellular phones, GPS devices, computers, tablets and network servers, is crucial to investigating and solving cyber crimes. Strong cyber crime investigative capabilities are also critical for solving traditional crime.

The chief plays an important role in ensuring officers and investigators are prepared to handle these complex crimes and investigations. Chiefs may need to consider:

Training officers on cyber crime protocol
Chiefs should ensure that officers, investigators, and other relevant personnel receive regular training on handling cyber crimes. For more information about available training, please visit the Training page.

Cyber crime policies
Departments should develop policies and protocols for handling cyber crime investigations and what to do in case the agency is the victim of a hacking attack.

Jurisdictional issues
Cyber crime frequently crosses state and national borders. Chiefs should work with their federal law enforcement partners and local prosecutors to understand the jurisdictional issues involved with cyber crimes.

Creating partnerships with other public or private organizations
Agencies may be able to develop partnerships with other organizations to improve their cyber crime investigations. Chiefs should look into developing ties with other law enforcement agencies and private organizations. Partnerships are particularly important for smaller agencies that may have more limited resources. For example, law enforcement agencies across the country have successfully developed working partnerships with the private sector in a variety of areas. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has several cyber-related partnerships including the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the National Cyber Forensics & Training Alliance. Private-public partnerships can enhance resources for both law enforcement and the private sector as well as create a network of contacts. Additional information regarding the FBI’s partnerships can be found here on the FBI website.

Ensuring officer/investigators understand digital evidence
Chiefs need to be aware of the wide variety of digital evidence their officers and investigators handle, and ensure that evidence is properly processed and stored. For more information about digital evidence, please see the Digital Evidence section for Officers.

For more information about cyber crime investigations, please see the Cyber Crime Investigations section for Officers.

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