Computer crimes force states to increase training

Shortage of computer forensics specialists push Georgia agencies to rely on state Bureau of Investigation, causing backlogs.

As computer crime rises, states are struggling to keep up. Case in point, this article from the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph.

"We just need more of a commitment from law enforcement, and the bottom line is they need more resources. I don't know of any agency that has more people than they need," said GBI Special Agent Rusty Grant, who supervises the GBI's computer investigation unit.

Forensic computer specialists are in high demand. becaues they know how to find financial records of crimes, proof of counterfeiting and research on the manufacture of drugs, officials said.

Smaller agencies can no longer reasonably borrow from the George Bureau of Investigation because the backlog is as much as six months, so agences are starting to provide resources for training their own officers.

Bibb County sheriff's spokesman Capt. David Davis said his agency sees more computer crimes than it used to, so it will train a deputy as a forensic computer specialist. "I don't think we fell behind as much as we're doing this to keep pace," he said.

He said the GBI has been handling their computer forensic work, but that can add months to an investigation. "Anytime you can have this expertise in your agency, it's a plus for us. It makes us able to investigate a case in an efficient and prompt manner," he said.