Richland upgrades computer forensic lab

Richland upgrades computer forensic lab
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Richland is upgrading it's crime-fighting efforts - mainly on crimes connected to a computer or a cell phone.

It may look a bit like Criminal Minds: high tech tools, banks of computers and cell phones. When a cell phone or computer is seized from a crime scene, it comes here. Specially trained detectives can pull out evidence from the electronics that may be used against someone in court. These could include incriminating web searches, child pornography or fraud that comes via email. Ana Ruud is the victim of one of these crimes.

"I have been a victim of identity theft, which seems to be pretty popular lately with a couple stores around in the Tri-Cities, so it's a big concern," said Ruud.

Richland Police say simple software upgrades will allow detectives to process cases up to 20 percent faster. It's similar to upgrading your home computer and seeing it operate faster. The last update was done a little over a year ago, but police say this is still critical.

"We do a lot of investigations using this software tool set, so we need to keep them updated and current so we can process things in a more efficient fashion," said Captain Mike Cobb.

The $5,000 cost will come from taxpayer money.

"It's nice to know there is money going to protect us in that way," said Ruud.

The upgrades were installed this week to make an immediate impacting on Richland's crime-fighting efforts.