On March 15, 2000 the Colonie Police Department opened the doors to its first Computer Crime Lab. The purpose of its existence is three-fold. First, the investigators are able to go undercover online in search of pedophiles.
Second, and more often, forensic analysis is conducted devices that contain data in search of hidden or deleted files. The investigators are able to accquire this data onto an evidence file without disturbing it. Acquisition of these files provide evidence needed to charge the person with a crime. While in many cases, child pornography is found in these files, narcotic and gambling records are also often confiscated.
Third, the education that the investigators receive will enable them to teach internet safety to children. There is currently one certified Computer Forensic Recovery Specialist in the unit who has received the specialized training in data recovery. This investigator receives computers for data recovery analysis from all around the state.