The Computer Forensics Detail conducts forensic examinations on all forms of digital media seized during criminal investigations. Digital media includes computers, cell phones, PDA’s, flash media, CD’s, DVD’s and a variety of other devices capable of storing electronic data. The primary role of this unit is to conduct examinations in support of other investigative details such as Homicide, Sex Crimes, Family Protection, Narcotics, Economic Crimes, and General Investigations. They also assist patrol operations and on occasion, other local law enforcement agencies.
There are currently three highly trained investigators who have earned their Certified Forensics Computer Examiner certificate. In addition, they have each completed several advanced computer forensic courses recommended by the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS). One Investigative Assistant is assigned to this unit and is responsible for managing all complaints forwarded by the National White Collar Crime and Internet Fraud Complaint Center. A majority of these complaints originate from Internet auction sites such as E-bay and Craigslist.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department has partnered with the FBI and 14 other law enforcement agencies to form the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL). OCSD has three full-time investigators assigned to the OCRCFL, where they perform forensic examinations on digital media, including computers, cell phones, loose media (thumb drives, memory cards, CD's and DVD's). The OCSD investigators hold numerous advanced certifications received from national training organizations in the field of computer forensics. The Sheriff's Computer Forensics Detail provides support to other investigative units requiring assistance in online investigations involving homicides, sexual assaults, child exploitation, fraud, stalking, assault, and identity theft, among other crimes. They provide technical assistance during search warrants and any investigation regarding technology. They are a resource for any investigation in which digital media plays a part.