Ratcliffe cybercrime-fighting bill gains traction in Senate
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe’s Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 gained traction in the Senate earlier this month when Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein introduced companion legislation.
The Senate companion bill was cosponsored by senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.).
“The National Computer Forensics Institute has played a major role in equipping state and local law enforcement officers across the country with the tools they need to address the extra layers of complexity presented by the growing incidences of cybercrime,” Ratcliffe said.
“I’m extremely encouraged by the strong support of my colleagues in the Senate in the fight to empower police to combat cybercrime, and I’m hopeful we will continue moving the ball forward on this important issue.”
Like Ratcliffe’s bill, the Senate version also authorizes the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) in Hoover, Ala., which is widely recognized as the premier cybercrime training center in the nation.
The NCFI has trained more than 6,250 local officials from all 50 states and three U.S. territories. Its graduates represent more than 2,000 agencies nationwide, including multiple agencies in Texas’ Fourth District.
In a House Homeland Security cybersecurity subcommittee field hearing chaired by Ratcliffe last April, a former law enforcement officer, Don Waddle of Texas’ 4th District, confirmed the positive impact of his training at NCFI.
“I am not the main benefactor of this training. The citizens of Greenville, Texas and Hunt County, Texas, as well as the north Texas area reap the benefits of this training with better recovery rates for property as well as more perpetrators being taken off the streets,” Waddle said.
“A better-equipped, better-prepared police force means better-protected communities. And at the end of the day, the safety of the American people is always the number one goal,” Ratcliffe said.
In 2015, a previous version of Ratcliffe’s bill (H.R. 3490) passed the U.S. House of Representatives.