Cell phones, computer tablets, portable video game units and personal navigation devices are everywhere – every criminal, victim, and witness to a crime today is carrying at least one handheld mobile device. Each of these devices may contain valuable evidence that you may have to access or analyze as part of a crime investigation or prosecution.

Drakontas, in partnership with Drexel University and BKForensics, has developed a free, online training program to help criminal justice professionals throughout the United States address the challenges handheld technologies present to crime and investigations.

Materials include:

Essentials: covers the basics for identifying various handheld devices, related physical evidence (such as memory and storage cards, peripherals), proper seizure methods, secure transport and storage, evidence analysis requests, and testimony strategies. We recommend that every officer in your jurisdiction take this “Essentials” course irrespective of their job description, as all officers are going to need to know what is in this portion of the course.

Technology Briefings: includes dozens of briefings regarding individual devices, their capabilities, and the technologies behind them, such as GPS, mapping, operating systems, and hardware components. These briefings are built for officers with an interest in technology and a desire to know more about how handheld devices are changing the criminal work and investigatory landscape.

Information Gathering Strategies: looks more deeply at the handheld devices themselves and the kinds of information an investigator can find on the device. These can include everything from calendaring systems, to images, location tracking, social networks, games and mobile apps. The goal of this block is to help investigators ask the right questions and find information more rapidly to expedite the investigatory process.

Specialized Criminal Justice Issues: addresses the complexities facing law enforcement due to the rise of new crimes and criminal techniques relating to handheld devices, including identity theft, texting while driving, online harassment, stalking, cyberbullying, homicide, theft, and new criminal coordination techniques.

The Basic Computer Skills for Law Enforcement course (a collaboration by the National White Collar Crime Center, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, and SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics) provides prerequisite computer skills training for investigators.

Many of the attributes of the Internet and other telecommunications technologies, including its low cost, ease of use and anonymous nature make it an attractive medium for fraudulent scams, child sexual exploitation, gang violence, hate crimes, cyber stalking and bullying. These are just some of the issues encountered by law enforcement on a daily basis. This course introduces investigators to networking, lays the groundwork for how the Internet works, and shows how to determine the legal compliance resources for an IP address and a domain name.