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Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Senate advances bipartisan legislation to reauthorize training for state and local law enforcement

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The Senate unanimously voted through the National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022 this week, setting up an extension of the aforementioned institute’s lifespan to continue training state and local law enforcement agencies.

“NCFI helps train law enforcement across the country to strengthen and improve digital investigations,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), co-author of both the reauthorization legislation and the bill that originally founded the NCFI, said. “With more and more crimes involving computers or technology in some way, NCFI ensures that law enforcement agencies have the resources and skills necessary to investigate computer crimes.”

The NCFI was born in 2017 through the passage of the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017. That act, like its descendant, was authored by Feinstein and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as a means to train law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. Since its founding, the institute has trained personnel at more than 2,000 state and local agencies nationwide. It focuses on cyber and electronic crime-related threats and helps participants learn how best to pursue forensic examinations against them.

“Digital forensics is becoming more critical than ever in uncovering evidence that can help solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice,” Grassley said. “The improvement of technology helps law enforcement stay better connected, more organized, and even more productive in solving crimes. Since 2008, more than 18,000 people have been trained at the National Computer Forensic Institute to do just that, and 68 percent of those have been trained in the last five years. It’s clear that the legislation that we sponsored in 2017 has enabled the institute to do a lot of good, and our bill will help it continue to do so.”

The bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).