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DFS’s Digital Evidence Unit is Open for Business

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Digital Evidence Unit of the District’s Department of Forensic Sciences is up and running, DFS Director Max Houck announced today.

DEU will offer its services to as many as 40 agencies in the District of Columbia justice system, including the Metropolitan Police Department, US Attorney’s Office and US Capitol Police.

Digital evidence is the identification, preservation and analysis of the digital crime scene and the presentation of those results as evidence.

“Digital devices are everywhere and can make excellent evidence in a wide variety of cases,” Dr. Houck said. “It's thrilling for DFS to be able to offer this new service to the District.”

The new unit's manager, Paul Reedy, came to DFS last year from the Australian Federal Police, where he put together the Computer Forensics team for that country’s version of the FBI. The unit grew from seven people when it opened to 60 in Reedy’s 10 years at the helm.

“Where every contact leaves a trace in traditional forensic sciences, the same principle applies in the digital world,” Reedy said.

“The initial focus of DEU will be on mobile devices such as mobile phones as they are a part of everyday lives. They can therefore implicate an individual in criminal activity or, alternatively, exonerate a person from suspicion of criminal activity,” he said.

The unit at DFS will eventually examine seized evidence from a range of devices, including laptops, as well as computers and portable media such as USB sticks, CDs, and DVDs.