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Cybercrime and cyber threats place many demands on law enforcement agencies, ranging from investigating cyber incidents to securing their own information systems. In addition, law enforcement agencies are required to collect and handle the constantly increasing volume of digital evidence. The Bureau of Justice Assistance established the Law Enforcement Cyber Center (LECC) in October 2014 to help state and local law enforcement better combat cybercrime. The LECC, which completed in September 2017, was tasked to serve as an online portal and a clearinghouse of information, directing users to existing resources developed and managed by subject-matter experts, professional organizations, and government agencies.

The LECC was managed by a consortium of organizations led by the RAND Corporation as the main grantee. Partner organizations in the LECC team were the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum. Although doing so was not formally part of the LECC grant, the project team also collaborated with the National White Collar Crime Center, a nonprofit organization. This technical report provides an account of LECC activities since its inception in October 2014 to its completion in September 2017.

Key Findings

The LECC Met Its Objectives and Completed All Its Planned Tasks

  • The LECC project team set up the LECC website, identified training and training needs for various stakeholders, contributed to better links among crime units, enhanced prevention education, and developed technical assistance materials for relevant audiences.
  • The project team also organized the LECC Justice Executive Cyber Roundtable, which provided a unique forum to bring together police chiefs, prosecutors, and judges to address the fight against cybercrime.

The Metrics Employed by the Project Team Demonstrated the Usefulness of the Type of Services Provided by the LECC

  • As the LECC web traffic data demonstrate, the content provided on the LECC website was successful in attracting traffic to the website.
  • The volume of traffic visiting the website grew over time, suggesting that it is possible to attract new users as well as retain existing visitors by providing a continuously updated set of relevant information.
  • The presentation of the LECC and its website at various meetings, fora, and conferences received interest and enthusiasm, indicating a perceived need for such a resource among various stakeholders.
  • The LECC's resources were also designed to foster greater links among crime units; for example, the LECC team compiled a list of regional capabilities relevant for combatting cybercrime, such as forensics labs or training facilities.
  • The LECC team developed a report on the implementation of the Utah Model of cybercrime prevention, summarizing lessons and best practices from the implementation of a new cybercrime unit in Utah.

Recommendation

  • Future endeavors to assist state and local law enforcement and prosecutors with cybercrime prevention, investigation, and prosecution should continue to broker the exchange of knowledge within and across law enforcement stakeholder groups.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Bureau of Justice Assistance and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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