Law enforcement agencies get high-tech training

By Mike McDaniel - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - There's an evolving frontline when it comes to staying ahead of criminals and you just have to log on to find it.

Cohen says, "Because of online social networking and media people can interact," said Indiana State Police Lieutenant Charles Cohen. "Criminals can now more easily victimize people that don't live in the same area they live in."

According the National White Collar Crime Center, it's the white collar crimes which are the fastest growing and the most unrecognized in the country.

"These aren't necessarily crimes of violence as we traditionally think about them but they do victimize people, they do hurt people and they do really cause injury to people," said Cohen.

As criminals go online, stealing money, committing fraud and making threats, training is in overdrive for officers in Mississippi who are getting a course from the center on how to stay ahead and what to look for in tracking down an online criminal.

"This is cutting edge training," said Attorney General Jim Hood who says Mississippi law enforcement agencies are having to reach out in online social media more than every before.

"If people are hanging out there rather than at the pool hall then that's where we're going to have to go to get information and that's where technology is taking law enforcement and we've got to be prepared," said Hood.

Making sure officers are up to date with the latest technology is one thing, the other is making sure it's used on the streets, or in this case the Internet. With more investigations going through the Internet, constant training is a constant fight.

"A lot of times it's hard for the cops on the street to get the training they need particularly like computer crimes training they can't afford to send them away so we bring training to them at the local locality," said Center Chairman Glen Gainer.