A new criminal justice program at Des Moines Area Community College that focuses on cyber crimes allows those with an interest in law enforcement to fight crime with a mouse, not a gun. Jim Stick is the dean of the criminal justice program at DMACC.
Stick says you can have students who come into the program who have high skills in computers who don’t have a law enforcement emphasis. He says they would take all the courses in the criminal justice program and get a two-year degree and information on computers. “And they would literally sit behind a desk at a computer and work for law enforcement,” Stick says. He says the program will use 800-thousand dollars in high-tech equipment to teach the students many ways to investigate cyber crimes.
Stick says they will extract evidence from computers, P-D-A’s, cellphones and other devices confiscated during crimes. The students would work for law enforcement, but not be on the street driving a car and arresting people. Stick expects cyber crime investigation to continue to expand.
Stick says in the future he believes every law enforcement officer will have some training in computer forensics and how to collect evidence. But he says there were will a set group that does the extraction of the evidence, taking that evidence off a device without tainting the evidence.
The new criminal justice program with an electronic crime emphasis is being developed with federal grant money. Classes will be offered in the program this fall.