The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC) is announcing the host locations of the 10 High Tech Crime Units that will be established and available to assist all of Indiana’s prosecutors with the processing of digital evidence. Thanks to legislation enacted during the 2021 session, IPAC was able to fund 10 regional hubs, geographically located throughout the state to cover all 92 counties. Those host counties and partner academic institutions are listed below.
• Allen County – Indiana Tech
• Dearborn County
• Delaware County – Ball State University
• Knox County – Vincennes University
• Lake County – Purdue University Northwest
• Madison County – Anderson University
• Monroe County – Indiana University
• St. Joseph County – University of Notre Dame
• Tippecanoe County – Purdue University
• Vigo County – Indiana State University
The map details what areas the hub counties will serve. With these programs and partnerships with local universities, prosecutor offices will work hand in hand with local law enforcement and college students to analyze and process digital evidence. The result will be faster turnaround for investigations and more thorough investigations, leading to more just outcomes for everyone involved in the legal system. With these new high tech crime units, every county and every prosecutor office will have access to state-of-the-art technology that they previously have not had access too.
“We are extremely excited about these new programs and the impact they will have on the criminal justice system,” Chris Naylor, IPAC Executive Director, said. “We’re incredibly thankful for the work of Rep. Greg Steuerwald for championing this bill, all the lawmakers who helped on the legislation and to our university partners who are working alongside prosecutors to make these units possible. This announcement is the result of a 5-month selection process. IPAC is thankful for each and every prosecutor who applied.”
“We are pleased to have partnered with Purdue Northwest (PNW) on this state funded High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU) that will assist in investigations involving murder, robbery, drug distribution and other crimes of violence,” said Carter. “The HTCU, under the supervision of the Prosecutor’s Office, will be tasked with developing specialized operations and processing digital evidence from computers, cameras, laptops, tablets, cell phones and other electronic devices and will reduce turnaround times in the collection of this type of evidence. This is a unique opportunity that will change the landscape for how we retrieve and analyze digital evidence,” concluded Prosecutor Carter. “Purdue Northwest is particularly pleased that the prosecutor’s office was awarded with one of the High Tech Crime Units which will be housed at PNW. Our forensic lab will be co-located with the High Tech Crime Unit to optimize operations and allow students, faculty, and staff to work closely with them, said Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon.
In the coming months, the hubs will begin purchasing the necessary software and hardware and hiring staff for the high tech units with the goal of the units being fully operational in early 2022.