Today, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala toured the Computer Analysis and Technical Services (CATS) laboratory to learn about new tech infrastructure upgrades that were provided by a $20,000 legislative grant from Assemblywoman Lupardo.
Broome County Security's comprehensive computer and video forensics lab was established in 2003, following a federal grant secured by US Senator Charles Schumer. Since then, the unit has handled over 550-combined video/computer cases. Over 80% of the cases involved the exploitation of children.
I want to thank Assemblywoman Lupardo for this high tech investment to improve this shared service and ability to protect our community from crime, stated, Executive Fiala.
The need has grown for advanced computer and video forensics as technology, and online social networking has developed. Most communities do not have advanced laboratories to handle and catalogue technical evidence. This service is shared by law enforcement agencies in Broome County and many in surrounding counties and cities from Binghamton to Syracuse, Albany, Elmira, including the New York State Police, I.C.E., and the FBI, have submitted cases to the CATS unit.
The apprehension and prosecution of high tech criminals will not only protect our communities from cyber crime, but from national security threats as well, said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell). The CATS lab is a very important regional resource for law enforcement.
The CATS lab has been utilized for investigations involving: e-mail threats, identity theft, school violence, attempted attacks on government computer systems, burglaries, larceny, narcotics, assaults, and homicide. Many cases have involved child pornography, sexual assault, and exploitation. This year, over 2 million key word searches were completed and over 2.4 million graphic images were documented.
CATS efforts in this area alone have earned a conviction rate of over 90% added James Dadamio, Director of Broome Security. The success of the CATS unit has enabled the creation of the Southern Tier Cyber Predator Task Force, directed by the FBI.
New upgrades to the laboratory included: six new LCD Monitors to upgrade three forensic workstations thereby, reducing man hours in half for each case. An Adaptec Snap Data Storage unit was purchased to add increased case storage capacity, upgrade speed, and software capabilities that can reduce 1 full day of an investigators time per computer examined. Lastly, a FAR Lite Forensic Backup and Restore CD/DVD System, consisting of CD/DVD robot that burns discs automatically, were added to the lab. The efficient robot has reduced up to 15 man hours per case.