A new Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) has been opened in Denver, Colorado (USA). The new lab, unsurprisingly christened the Rocky Mountain RCFL, will provide federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations throughout the states of Colorado and Wyoming with digital evidence examination services. The RCFLs are regional collaborations of law enforcement agencies that provide the personnel and local management for the labs. The Operational Technology Division (OTD) of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides equipment, training, technical, procedural, and financial support to the laboratories. By the end of the year, a total of 14 RCFL facilities are expected to be up and operating.
The RCFL concept is a bit of a departure from the old model of separate forensic labs at the federal, state, and local levels, with the tougher cases being sent up the chain when lower level skill and/or resources were exceeded. The RCFL concept places additional equipment, training, and expertise out in the regions to handle things more locally. Of course, the central federal labs are still there to provide national level skills and resources when needed.
I've had the opportunity to meet and train RCFL personnel and have been positively impressed with the ones I've met thus far. Although it will take some years for the new labs to grow into themselves, so to speak, the collaborative regional concept holds the potential of significant benefits from local leadership, as well as the distribution of workload to the appropriate levels of the nation's laboratory 'network'.
Image: Photo from the Rocky Mountain RCFL Opening (L-R RMRCFL Director, C.Buechner, FBI OTD Assistant Director K.Haynes)
(Hat tip: Nieuwsbank)