In order to educate law enforcement officials on how to deal with digital evidence and cyber-based crimes, the FBI has created the Cyber Investigator Certification Program (CICP), a project that, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, aims to address the concerns of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) over a lack of affordable cyber training options for officers.
“The goal of the course is to improve a first responder’s technical knowledge by focusing on best practices in terms of investigative methods specific for cyber investigations.” said Special Agent James McDonald from the FBI Cyber Division’s Cyber Training and Logistics Unit. “The more first responders understand about technology, the less chance there is of errors being made while securing a crime scene involving digital evidence.”
The current version of the program, which was released in October 2015 and is free for all local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal law enforcement personnel, is aimed at first responders and includes nine online modules for officers to complete. Currently, 5,000 officers have enrolled in this version of the course.
“Our collective success in analyzing crime scenes depends upon your ability to both assess and secure an increasing amount of digital artifacts, so it is important that we use best practices in working with digital evidence,” said FBI Director James Comey, who speaks in the program’s introductory video.
The FBI and Carnegie Mellon University will soon release four Level 1 cyber training courses, designed to more broadly educate beginner to intermediate-level detectives. Level 2 courses, which are in development, will target more experienced detectives.
“I’m very impressed with the FBI First Responder course. The content is very current and informative….I’m looking forward to the rest of the course and to what else is in the works,” a senior parole officer from New Jersey said of the program.