TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Nearly $150,000 is being awarded to the University of Alabama Police Department for the advancement of their digital forensic services, Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday.
UAPD’s Digital Intelligence Unit will be able to use the grant towards newer equipment and expand their services statewide. The grant is being provided by Governor Ivey’s Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
“The equipment upgrade with this grant will help the UA forensics unit process crime evidence at a much faster rate, resulting in more productive investigations and convictions,” Governor Ivey said.
UAPD provides digital forensic services to local, county, and state law enforcement in Alabama. The unit also assists in cases involving the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
Investigator and digital forensics examiner Holly Kennedy is thrilled to be getting the funding.
“It’s going to let us get through more casework for our partner agencies, do it faster and give us time we need to investigate more thoroughly on the cases that need the expert attention so that’s really wonderful,” Kennedy said.
Scott Gilliam is the lab manager. He says anything that can help his team solve crimes more efficiently is a win for his department.
“It’s refreshing to us to play a part in putting criminals away that deserve to be in jail for what they’ve done,” Gilliam said. “Lots of times, we don’t even get to see the outcome of these cases but what we put into it so we feel we’ve done our job in that process with the judicial system solving crimes.”
The unit, established in 2014, has conducted nearly 2,000 forensic investigations spanning from major crimes to illegal drug cases.