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Indiana launches tech crime unit hubs to help investigate, process evidence

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Courtesy of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council
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The current state budget included $3 million a year for two years to get the high tech crime unit hubs up and running.

Indiana is deploying nearly a dozen hubs around the state that will help local prosecutors with the technology used in crimes.

The units were made possible this year through legislation and $3 million a year in state funding.

Courtney Curtis is with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. She said as technology has become more complex, so has investigating crimes. The hubs will help clear evidence backlogs and investigate those crimes – using, in part, student investigators from local colleges and universities.

“You know, they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – we can’t teach an old attorney new tricks sometimes, too," Curtis said. "These students, it’s just very intuitive for them. They understand technology in a way that some of the older generations don’t.”

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Curtis said when evaluating the effectiveness of these units, she hopes the state doesn’t just look at charges filed.

“Jury trials may not necessarily be a benchmark either," Curtis said. "I really think it’s going to be – what amount of evidence are we able to search and how quickly are we able to do so.”

Curtis noted that some of the work the hubs will do will help exonerate people, too.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.