The Cyber Crimes Unit (CCU) is comprised of specially trained sworn law enforcement personnel, civilian agents, and prosecutor staff who handle the increasingly complicated matrix of technological devices and services and determine their impact on criminal investigations. The CCU has three equally important functions.
First, the unit handles criminal investigations involving the internet and technology. Some of these investigations involve undercover online investigations where police officers attempt to penetrate criminal enterprises that are ongoing in the digital universe. Other cases involve investigations relating to depictions of child sexual exploitation, cyber-stalking, invasion of privacy, and computer data theft. Additionally, detectives in the CCU assist multiple municipal law enforcement agencies with handling their own technology-related investigations and evidence.
The second important function of CCU is the processing of electronic devices at the on-site Digital Forensic Lab (DFL). Devices that were seized from suspects via authorized search warrants or provided to police with the consent of the owner, are submitted to the DFL by law enforcement agencies to be analyzed for “digital breadcrumbs” of criminal evidence. This state-of-the-art laboratory is capable of accessing computer hard drives, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and removable memory devices like memory cards and “flash” drives.
The third and final aspect of the CCU is education and public outreach. Since 2005, members of the CCU and the Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of a select group of municipal law enforcement officers from the county, have provided live seminars to the public about staying safe in the cyber age. These lectures have been given to middle schools, parent groups, educators, and other state agencies. The goal of these lectures is always the same – the best way to affect a crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place and the best weapon for that fight is educating the public about the dangers of the Internet.
The Internet Safety presentation for Students from the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force is a dynamic, entertaining, and informative 360-degree discussion about Internet Safety (general), information control, social networking mistakes, sexting, and cyberbullying. Presentation talk-time with full PowerPoint with entertaining video clips, etc. consists of 30 solid minutes of useful, educational content.