Col. Baker says computer forensics increasingly important

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(Host) The outgoing director of the Vermont State Police says computer evidence is increasingly important in fighting crime.

Colonel James Baker said much of the evidence collected in the investigation of the murder of Braintree teenager Brooke Bennett was found on computers and in cyberspace.

(Baker) "The ability for us to do computer forensics was a major piece of that case.  There are very few cases that are serious today that do not have some type of technology connected to them, be it a cell phone or text messaging or twitter or all those other things. When I got in law enforcement, we didn’t even have computers."

(Host)  Speaking Tuesday on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Baker said one state trooper works full time on computer forensics right now.

Because there are no state lines or other borders in cyberspace, Baker says police agencies need to overcome jurisdictional boundaries and work together. 

(Baker) "That’s why it’s so important to have the discussion that’s going on right now about what I call the new doctrine of the Vermont State Police, because those boundaries no longer exist. The only way you’re going to deal with this serious crime is bringing resources together and working for a common good. I think that’s going to be a huge challenge and technology is driving that."

(Host) Baker retires in June after 31 years with the State Police.  

He’ll be succeeded by Major Tom L’Esperance.

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