DPS has plan to expedite computer crime examinations

Released by the Texas Department of Public Safety:

DPS has initiated a program to decrease the time it takes to conduct forensic computer examinations in criminal cases, especially those involving child pornography.

"The current backlog of cases is unacceptable, especially if the case involves child pornography, said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw.

As part of the initiative, DPS will:

  • Purchase additional workstations with specialized forensic examination software;
  • Hire and train additional examiners;
  • Streamline how computers are searched during the initial examination phase;
  • Require additional information from law enforcement agencies, including criticality and specific search parameters to expedite processing; and
  • Conduct a process improvement examination to further increase efficiency and reduce processing time.

The DPS Austin Crime Lab is the only DPS Lab in the state that handles this specialized examination.  Approximately half the current workload involves suspected child pornography cases. Currently, there are 45 computer forensic cases pending examination. These examinations are complex and time consuming.