High-Tech Crime Investigation


Computer Crime Investigations

Computer technology now encompasses mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. As an investigator, you need a working knowledge of this technology, its application to criminal activities, and the issues associated with investigating these cases. Learn more


Digital Evidence Investigations

Digital evidence is everywhere. From security camera footage that shows a suspect entering a building to a teenager’s cell phone that shows how many times she (unwittingly) texted a registered sex offender—it’s all potential evidence. Learn more


Digital Evidence: Legal Procedures & Practices

As technology continues to cast its shadow on nearly every case, are you as prepared for court as you should be? As a prosecutor, are you aware of the latest case law for authenticating emails, chats, and other digital evidence? Learn more


Social Networking Sites & Investigations

Information available on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter has the potential to impact every area of an investigation. With the right skills, you can find information about suspects, victims, witnesses and possible co-conspirators. Learn more


Wireless Networks & Volatile Data

Volatile data is data that requires power to maintain its existence. If power is removed from a device, the volatile data is erased and gone forever. As an on-scene investigator, it’s likely that you are often faced with processing live crime scenes. Learn more

From Bits and Bytes to Friends and Likes

SEARCH has a long-standing national program of providing mission-critical training and technical assistance to law enforcement, including Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force members.

Since the mid-1980s, when we first created the National Criminal Justice Computer Laboratory and Training Center, we have trained thousands of investigators. One of our first courses was called Data Processing for Law Enforcement Managers. It presented course content that was critical to investigators who were just beginning to use computers, and also was one of the few ‘high-tech’ courses then available to law enforcement.

As technology reaches into nearly all areas of our lives, law enforcement officers are challenged to maintain the skills and tools needed to conduct thorough investigations. Breaks in a case often come only at the expense of perpetrators who make mistakes. But investigators who are unfamiliar with digital evidence can overlook even these kinds of breaks. That is why we are committed to developing and offering courses that help to digitally empower today’s law enforcement community.

“I had never taken a cell phone data recovery class before and had only received informal training on the job. This was an excellent introduction to the tools used in extracting data from mobile devices and will serve me well in the future.”
“The course was very well constructed and professionally presented. The tools I have at my disposal now will have an incredible impact on my assignment and my agency.”
“I thought the class was fantastic. I learned more about online searching in the last two days than I have in the last 18 years.”
Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Mackay

Mr. Michael Mackay is an Information Sharing Developer for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As part of the Software and Data Engineering Program (SDEP) team, he plans, develops, implements, and deploys information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and Federal government settings. He also provides programming, configuration, and testing assistance, and consults on implementation architecture and design with clients. 

Mr. Mackay supports justice, public safety, and homeland security information sharing nationwide through SDEP services that include software architecture and systems design, application development, deployment and support, data management services, and direct technical assistance and training. These services offer capabilities that include federated query, authentication access/control, subscription/notification, process/workflow automation, data analysis, and more. 

Prior to joining SEARCH in 2021, Mr. Mackay worked as a Software Engineering Intern for TDM Business Toole Suite, where he provided software development support using Java frameworks, implemented relational database models using MySQL, and designed GUI components using NetBeans. 

Mr. Mackay will work in an Agile development environment, a methodology that SEARCH embraces that focuses on incremental development and delivery, collaboration in a team approach, and rapid and flexible response to change throughout the development cycle. 

Mr. Mackay earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, New York.