From the July 2014 Desktop News | As computer-based crimes become more prevalent, local law enforcement agencies need the technology to gather and access digital evidence of those crimes. Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar, assistant professor of criminal justice, will serve as an academic liaison for a new digital forensics crime lab at UA. Created through a partnership between the Department of Criminal Justice and local law enforcement agencies, the lab will assist local, and possibly national, law enforcement officials with processing digital evidence for use in cybercrime prosecutions.
“Almost all crimes involve some form of digital evidence, not just cybercrimes,” Seigfried-Spellar said. “It could be a murder where someone was hired via the Internet or a drug deal where cell phones were used to make arrangements. By pulling together local PD resources … this lab will be able to share software, equipment and expertise, and it will help centralize things.”
The new lab is being funded by a grant Seigfried-Spellar co-wrote with Lt. Dennis McMillian with The University of Alabama Police Department. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs provided $60,000 for the lab as part of the grant. The lab, the first joint partnership of its kind in the state, will provide opportunities for UA students to study cybercrime, UA faculty to expand their research, as well as for law enforcement officers to process evidence from crimes occurring via computer technology.
Seigfried-Spellar joined the UA faculty in 2012. Her research interests include computer deviance and cyber forensics. She received a bachelor of arts from Purdue University in 2005, a master of arts in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 and a doctorate in cyber forensics from Purdue University in 2011.