(INDIANAPOLIS) – Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington shared with an Indiana House committee how a partnership with Purdue University has assisted his office in the use of digital evidence and technology to investigate and prosecute violent crimes with the hope of expanding that opportunity across the state.
On Wednesday, Harrington told lawmakers on the House Courts and Criminal Code committee about the high-tech crimes unit his office established with Purdue University. His testimony came in support of House Bill 1082, which would establish up to 10 more high-tech crime units throughout the state. Currently, Indiana has two such programs, Purdue’s partnership with the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office and the University of Notre Dame’s similar partnership with the Office of St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter. HB 1082 is authored by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon.
In these programs, veteran detectives collaborate with students pursuing careers in cyber crime and forensics to assist prosecutors in examining digital evidence from cell phones, computers, tablets and security cameras.
“The teamwork we have is a win-win for everybody,” Harrington said. “The students get real world experience and our office can more efficiently examine evidence and pursue justice.”
Harrington told lawmakers that creating similar programs in the state would be a benefit to everyone.
“We’re very fortunate to have a university like Purdue in our county,” Harrington said. “Other counties aren’t so lucky and this legislation would go a long way towards providing these services statewide.”
The bill passed unanimously out of committee. It will now go to the House Ways and Means Committee where the potential fiscal impact of HB 1082 will be discussed.