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Law Enforcement Community Commemorates the 10-Year Anniversary of the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory

FBI Kansas City July 09, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Bridget Patton (816) 512-8200

The FBI and state and local law enforcement officials today commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (HARFCL). The HARCFL, which officially opened on July 9, 2003, was the fourth of 16 FBI-sponsored digital forensic and training centers in the U.S. devoted entirely to the scientific examination of digital evidence.

Since 2003, the HARCFL has provided timely, objective digital forensic services to the 867 law enforcement agencies in its service area. Law enforcement participation has doubled since the RCFL opened in 2003 from 11 participating agencies with 14 full-time computer forensic examiners to 22 participating agencies and 24 full-time examiners currently on board. Michael Kaste, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Kansas City Division, said, “The commitment by law enforcement to adapt and advance to meet the challenges of the criminal element’s illegitimate use of technology has been a key to the HARCFL’s success. Through partnerships and strong support, law enforcement has leveled the playing field and utilized the advances in technology to fight crime.” In 2012, the HARCFL received over 500 service requests and performed over 800 examinations.

John Douglass, Chief, Overland Park Police Department and Chairman of the HARCFL Executive Board, stated, “Practically every crime that law enforcement investigates involves digital evidence. Many times the smallest piece of evidence can be the most crucial in an investigation. The HARCFL, which supports every type of case, from cyber, white-collar, and violent crimes to terrorism, provides critical examinations supporting high-profile investigations and, in many cases, that crucial piece of digital evidence.”

Additionally, the FBI announced today that the HARCFL has earned international accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), the world’s largest forensic science accrediting body. The HARFCL, which has been an accredited laboratory since 2007, is the eighth RCFL to earn accreditation under the international program. Currently, only 43 laboratories worldwide hold international accreditation in the digital and multimedia evidence-computer forensic discipline.

To learn about the HARCF, log onto www.harcfl.org. For more information about the RCFL program, visit www.rcfl.gov.