Vigo board OKs high tech crime unit

Friday, January 7, 2022 - 11:25
  • Dec 30, 2021

TERRE HAUTE — Specialized analysis of digital data from cell phones and other electronic devices as part of police investigations will go ahead as planned in Vigo County following action by county commissioners during a brief special session Thursday morning.

Commissioners Mike Morris and Chris Switzer approved agreements and an ordinance for a multi-county High Tech Crime Unit, established through an agreement between the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office and Indiana State University, with funding from the Indiana Prosecutor Attorneys Council.

A local partnership between ISU and the prosecutor’s office for the HTCU has been in place since May. Later in the year, Vigo County was designated a hub to also serve the counties of Clay, Fountain, Hendricks, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan and Vermillion. IPAC awarded the Vigo County hub a $285,000 grant.


Thursday’s session of the commissioners saw creation of a new fund for the grant money and signatures for the agreements.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts requested the special session so the program could be established before the end of the year.

Some costs need to be covered and equipment purchased to have the hub officially in place at the start of the year, Roberts said.

The program will also reimburse ISU for the salaries of students and faculty advisors involved in the hub.


Prosecutor Terry Modesitt has explained that digital evidence is an area that is constantly growing, It cell phone communications and location data, as well as surveillance recordings.

Such evidence strengthens investigations, but it also has been used to exclude suspects, Modesitt said.

This program gives student investigators training, certifications, and real life experience, while they assist law enforcement officers in accessing and preserving important evidence.

In other business, the commissioners also approved some end-of-year claims and payroll and approved an ordinance authorizing a non-reverting fund for improvement of U.S. 40.

Maintenance and improvements to the stretch of U.S. 40 from Bennett Lane to Illiana Drive can be covered by the funds. The county received $250,000 from the state after that stretch of U.S. 40 was relinquished to the county.

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