The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office received notification this week that the agency has been awarded $73,468.37 in local law enforcement grant funding from the NC State Bureau of Investigations. The funding is earmarked by the Legislature for agencies that investigate Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) across the state and is administered through the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association. The funding was awarded for the ICAC Unit to add an additional forensic work station; purchase mobile forensic equipment and software; and attend advanced training. The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office currently has two detectives assigned to ICAC investigations. The ICAC detectives also conduct electronic forensic analysis. One ICAC Detective is also an ICAC Task Force Officer with Homeland Security Investigations. The equipment purchased with the grant funding will enable both detectives to work simultaneously on multiple cases at the same time.
The Sheriff’s Office ICAC Unit receives an average of 51 cyber tips annually; 38 of those tips are under active investigation. In addition to investigating tips and reported cases, the ICAC Lab processes electronic forensic evidence for eight other agencies to include Randleman Police Department, Siler City Police Department, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Asheboro Police Department, Liberty Police Department, Seagrove Police Department, Ramseur Police Department, and Homeland Security. The ICAC Unit has processed 48 devices for other agencies since August 2021 to aid both state and federally prosecuted cases. Requests for forensic analysis has totaled 193 electronic devices within the past year.
RCSO prioritizes ICAC investigations and diligently seeks every opportunity to improve the technology to investigate related crimes.