In an effort to further reduce crime in Flagler County, Sheriff Rick Staly directed the Investigation Services Division (ISD) of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) to launch a Digital Forensics Unit.
Previously the FCSO had utilized the Seminole and St. John County Sheriff’s Offices to evaluate digital evidence, however, Corporal Mark Moy of the FCSO Major Case Unit pioneered the initiative to bring a Digital Forensics Unit in-house in order to save time and resources. Not only does this provide quicker turnaround times on examining evidence, but it lessens costs by reducing manpower spent traveling to other counties.
FCSO was able to purchase the initial forensic software and training through a grant from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV). Implementation of these new resources showed immediate results. Additional forensic tools have been purchased since in order to strengthen the new unit and expand their capabilities with cutting edge technology.
“Nowadays every criminal leaves some sort of digital footprint behind after they commit a crime,” Sheriff Staly said. “Now if we have a homicide, a rape, or a serious domestic violence incident, our Digital Forensics Team is able to join our Real Time Crime Center and work simultaneously to create a timeline of events leading up to the crime as well as analyzing digital evidence almost immediately. In today’s digital environment this new unit significantly increased our crime fighting ability.”
The Digital Forensics Unit is responsible for examining all computer and computer-related items used in the commission of a crime that occurred in Flagler County. In addition to investigating computer-related evidence, the Digital Forensics Unit assists the other units assigned to Investigation Services Division (ISD) with technology components of their investigative cases.