State officials joined the president of Des Moines Area Community College (D-MACC) Thursday to announce the creation of a new "Electronic Crime Institute" on the school’s Ankeny campus.
Rob Denson, the president of DMACC, says the program creates a new criminal justice degree with an electronic crime emphasis to go along with criminal justice degrees that have an emphasis in law enforcement, corrections and homeland security.
A federal grant of 1.75 million dollars will help DMACC hire the staff and purchase the equipment needed to teach the electronic crime courses. Denson says $800,000 of the grant will go to purchase the equipment that will be used to teach the students, and also for ongoing training of law officers in the state. Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, help secure the federal money for the project.
Latham says: "It is such as critical need as we are all aware of the crime that is now happening, whether it be identity theft, whether it be child pornography, tracking down child predators over the internet, all of these things. This is really where the future is, unfortunately in many ways, in crime fighting." The director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Steven Bogle says this is the first of its kind program for dealing with cyber crimes.
Bogle says just four years ago, state and local agencies had no capacity to deal with these crimes, but now have a "robust" ability to deal with them and this program will help. DMACC has some 700 students in its current criminal justice programs. The school will begin offering the cyber crime unit in the fall semester of this year.