The West Virginia State Police Digital Forensics Unit (DFU) was created in 2005 as part of the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforce. The first location was established in Morgantown in a partnership with West Virginia University and NW3C under the West Virginia Cyber Crime Cooperative (WV3C).
As the need for ICAC support grew, a second location was added at Marshall University in Huntington to serve the southern part of the state. The southern unit was funded through a partnership with the Marshall University Forensic Science Center (MUFSC) and a grant administered by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
With the rise of the importance of technology in the forensic field, the digital unit has grown to house seven full time analysts. The DFU works closely with several agencies in the fight against crime and specifically cases dealing with child exploitation, sexual abuse material, and human trafficking.
Aside from West Virginia law enforcement, the DFU also supports ICAC, NCMEC, NW3C, HSI, FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, Operation Underground Railroad, United States Secret Service, and Kentucky and Ohio local law enforcement agencies.
The unit has participated in community outreach and education, conducts cyber-crime and digital evidence training for law enforcement, been highlighted in international documentaries, and has been recognized by the United States Department of Justice.
In May 2020, the DFU was moved under the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory. Our goals under the laboratory include expanding the scope of our investigations to include video and multimedia forensics, vehicle forensics, proactive ICAC investigations, to achieve accreditation, and to continue to foster relationships with other state entities.
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