Ratcliffe introduces bill to empower police to combat cybercrime
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) introduced the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 today to provide state and local law enforcement with the tools they need to combat cybercrime and protect our communities.
“We’ve all seen crime shows on TV where pieces of DNA evidence – a strand of hair or a drop of blood – solve the case. But in today’s world, we also have to consider digital evidence. This could be an email that was sent, an online purchase, or geolocation technology that places an individual at the scene of a crime,” Ratcliffe said.
“Cyber elements add layers of complexity to the crimes our local law enforcement officers face every day – and we’ve got to make sure they have access to the training they need to address this trend. My bill will authorize the National Computer Forensics Institute to do just that.”
Ratcliffe’s bill authorizes the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) in Hoover, Ala., which is widely recognized as the premier cyber-crime 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 by a voice vote.
The text of the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 is available here.