Knox Police Department Gets Grant for Forensics Software

SmartphonePolice officers in Starke County will have quicker access to data stored on cell phones thanks to a software grant received by the Knox City Police Department. Det. Sgt. Dave Combs says it will save considerable time when it comes to investigations.

Currently he says they either have to go through phones screen by screen and take at least a couple hundred photos per phone or send them off to the Indiana State Police lab in Lowell to extract information from the phone. That can take up to six months, depending on the workload of the pathologist.

Combs heads up the Major Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of officers from the city police and Starke County Sheriff’s Offices, and says they will split the remaining $3,100 software cost. The departments will share the tool. Plans call for two city officers and one county detective to be certified to use it.

Combs adds the software will bypass PIN code protected cell phones, once a search warrant is obtained.

“It’ll analyze everything from browsing history to text messages, phone logs, call logs – basically everything you do on your phone. There’s some technical jargon. It does this all forensically where it shows where the files are extracted from, so everything is usable in court.”

The data is then dumped onto an electronic storage device for use by the police and courts.

The Starke County Major Crimes Task Force investigates felony level narcotics cases and conducts full investigations into overdose-related deaths.