PPD leads region in high-tech crime tool

With help from the Anderson County District Attorney’s Office, Palestine Police are taking crimefighting into the 21st century.

“Oxygen,” a computer forensics software, purchased with a donation of nearly $6,000 from the District Attorney’s office, was added to the department’s crimefighting toolbox last month.

The program allows local police to forensically analyze mobile electronic devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, and memory cards that can be used for evidence. The software overrides the mobile device’s passwords and security walls to extract the information for evidence.

Depending upon the investigation, phone numbers, texts, photographs, geographical information, and other data can be pulled from properly acquired electronic evidence.

Prior to Oxygen software, digital extractions of this kind were typically sent to state and federal agencies to complete, which could take a month or more.

“Sending evidence to outside agencies delays prosecution,” Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell told the Herald-Press Thursday. “Having this capacity in-house helps us push through cases much faster.”

The Oxygen software, Mitchell said, was purchased with forfeiture funds collected by the District Attorney’s Office; tax dollars were not used.

“The law allows for the D.A.’s office to distribute a portion of forfeiture money to local law enforcement in specific instances,” she said. “It was my pleasure to help out the Palestine Police Department with this program; it is certain to be a benefit to the community.” ..Read More..

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