South Windsor To Join Regional Cyber Crimes Unit

Peter Marteka
Contact ReporterNature's Path & Way To Go

The police department is joining an effort to create a regional Connecticut Center for Digital Investigations unit.

The department will be one of up to nine area towns, along with UConn, to participate in the unit that will combat cybercrime and increase its investigative capabilities through digital forensics. Crimes to be investigated include child pornography, exploitation and trafficking of children for sexual purposes, financial fraud and identity theft.

Police Chief Timothy M. Edwards said his department already participates in a regional animal shelter, drug squad, SWAT team and traffic team. The forensics unit was created by Glastonbury officers in 2014 and works from Manchester. Other towns invited to participate are East Hartford, Vernon, Manchester, Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington and Windsor Locks.

“We are now faced with the decision of creating our own unit within the department or partner with the center,” Edwards said. “The nature of computer technology, software and equipment are constantly changing and updated. The cost associated with continually purchasing new equipment and forensic software prohibit us from creating our own unit.”

Edwards said the regional partnership would provide “significant savings” and access to the latest equipment and investigative techniques “with costs shared across numerous agencies.”

“We continue to see more crimes conducted online such as scams and identity theft along with the enticement and harassment of children as these suspects use the technology to their advantage,” he said. “We must have the resources to investigate them.”

South Windsor would pay $6,000 a year to join and dedicate an officer to the unit. Edward said the partnership would provide residents “the best investigative tools at the lowest cost possible.”

“We don’t want to be an island on our own,” Councilman William Carroll said Monday night. “We want to cooperate with other municipalities and take their talents just like we do with the drug task force.”

Councilwoman Liz Pendleton said $6,000 is “nothing to save a child’s life or get a drug dealer off the streets.”

“The return on investment is huge,” Councilman M. Saud Anwar said. “The communication for bad guys is happening electronically more and more. The more we understand how they work, the better it wil be to prevent the bad things happening in our community.”

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