Agency Type: College/University Police Department
Population Size, based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau: 467,692
Agency Size: 113 total - 92 sworn; 21 non-sworn
Initiative Partnership(s): West Alabama Law Enforcement Agencies; 17th Circuit District Attorney’s Office; 24th Circuit District Attorney’s Office; and 25th Circuit District Attorney’s Office
Grant Focus Area(s): Technology; Digital Evidence
The University of Alabama Police Department (UAPD) serves more than 40 law enforcement agencies across Alabama and Mississippi through its Regional Evidence Analysis and Cyber-Intelligence Team (REACT). REACT is an established digital forensics lab that has examined over 2,000 devices in over 1,000 criminal cases since its inception in 2014, with increased demand and examiner efficiency resulting in nearly 500 computer and cellular device exams in 2022 alone. Serving rural agencies is a priority for REACT. Rural agencies often experience delays in receiving actionable intelligence from electronic devices. Lengthy and repeated trips to the nearest digital forensics lab cost investigators valuable time in the early stages of an investigation, and investigators must often choose whether to prioritize time on a crime scene over attempting to recover digital evidence.
The UAPD seeks to use Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative (RVCRI) funding to expand REACT to provide mobile digital forensic extraction support and on-site intelligence analysis at crime scenes for rural agencies. These tools will enable REACT and the UAPD to have a deployable mobile lab to address violent criminal activity readily and quickly and keep case agents at the scene for priority investigations.