With City Council funding, the new facility will allow for centralization of all computer forensic staff in a lab co-located with specialized prosecutors, analysts and investigators.

New York, NY – Today City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced funding for an expanded cybercrime lab that will streamline and improve upon the work of this critical area of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The proliferation of technology and its use by criminals has created new challenges in solving crime. Nearly every case the District Attorney’s Office prosecutes has a cyber component, from violent crimes, including rapes and murders, to white collar crimes, including financial fraud and ID theft. Recognizing this, the City Council allocated $4.2 million in funding for the new lab. The Speaker and the District Attorney made the announcement at City Hall joined by Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

“As criminals are becoming increasingly high-tech, so is law enforcement,” said Speaker Quinn. “In this day and age, we need more sophisticated tools to fight the complex crimes that are taking place on the web – the new crime scene of the modern age. In an effort to combat and deter such crimes, my Council colleagues and I are proud to fund this new resource that will help some of nation’s best prosecutors, analysts and investigators make New York City safer.”

District Attorney Vance said: “Cybercrime and identity theft are among the fastest growing crimes in the country. Advances in technology have also changed the way we fight crime. Nearly every case we prosecute – financial fraud, terrorism, even street crimes – depends upon the resources and expertise of my Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and its High Technology Analysis Unit. These funds are coming at a critical time for us, and I thank the City Council and Speaker Quinn for supporting the work of my office. The $4.2 million dollars for an expanded cyber lab truly represents an investment in fighting crime of all types in New York City.”

The Manhattan Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau will oversee the expanded High Technology Analysis Unit (HTAU) lab, which already performs forensic analysis of digital media – including cell phones, smart phones, computers, and other electronic storage devices – as well as cell site mapping, but will now be able to do so more efficiently and on a larger scale. This redesign and expansion will also allow the District Attorney’s Cybercrime prosecutors, personnel, investigators, analysts and examiners to be co-located within a single facility. With the number of electronic devices on the rise, an enhanced cybercrime lab in Manhattan is expected to ease the strain on forensic data examiners citywide.

“With technology progressing at a rapid rate, it’s important that a city as large and complex as New York is equipped with the proper tools to combat crime and stay a step ahead of lawbreakers,” said Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

“Cybercrime labs, like the one launched today, send a clear message to criminals that New York City is committed to remaining the safest big city in America,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer. “Utilizing high tech tools will help bring criminals to justice, from computer hackers and identity thieves to burglars, rapists and murderers.”

“This new, state-of-the-art cybercrime lab will help computer forensic staff to work smarter, faster and more efficiently,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin. “The end result will be a safer New York City.”

“Criminals exist in every facet of our society and due to an increase in technology, the rate of cybercrimes have also seen an upgrade. A new cybercrime lab will address this reality by ensuring that this city has the best technological tools to keep pace with criminals, who hope to hide-out in virtual space,” said Council Member Robert Jackson.