Classes teach local police officers how to collect, use cell phone data
by Rachel Davis
May 31, 2014 | 1823 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUMITON — Bevill State and Sumiton police departments sponsored three days of classes this week to teach local police officers how to collect and use cell phone and GPS data.

“Technology plays an ever increasing role in crimes today, and it is important for law enforcement to have this current training,” Bevill State Police Chief J.C. Poe said. “We are very fortunate to have national trainers teach in our county without any cost to law enforcement.”

Tonia Wimberley, a computer crime specialist with the National White Collar Crime Center in West Virginia, taught the classes.

The two-day cell phone course teaches officers how to legally obtain cell phone data from providers and how to interpret and use the data they receive. According to Wimberely, 16 city, county and state agencies in the local area sent representatives to the class.

Wimberley said that data can be invaluable in establishing a suspect’s location during a specific timeframe by determining which cell phone tower the phone was closest to.

“We talked about how to get those records legally, and, once you get those records, how to use them,” Wimberley said.

The one-day GPS class teaches officers what data is stored in GPS devices, as well as how to extract and analyze that data.

Wimberley also taught officers how to secure the devices, what to collect at the scene and how to preserve the information contained on them.

This is the latest in a series of classes sponsored by the agencies that allow law enforcement officers to receive updated training without incurring the cost of classes and travel time.