Drakontas: Addressing the Need for No-Cost, Flexible Training Programs


Drakontas LLC was founded in 2004 by a group of entrepreneurs and Drexel University researchers in pursuit of the following goal: to build a company that could deliver collaborative software and communications solutions to the government customer. Drakontas brings together a multidisciplinary team of technologists, psychologists, software engineers, and public policy experts to ensure a comprehensive approach to the development and evaluation of its technology solutions. The software tools that Drakontas has designed, and the training programs it manages, are designed to be responsive to customer needs and the evolution of government requirements. In order to address the current environment, which has been characterized by diminishing resources and limited funding, and with the rapid adoption of internet-connected consumer devices, the criminal justice community has witnessed a shift from classroom training to online, self-paced training options. Additionally, with the increase in the number of handheld devices used by criminals, victims, and witnesses, these devices have played an increasingly critical role in crime scene investigations. In recognition of these shifts, Drakontas partnered with Drexel University and BKForensics to develop a free, online training program to help law enforcement professionals address the challenges handheld computing technologies present to crime, investigations, and prosecutions. Sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, this training provides a critical resource for those law enforcement officials looking for a no-cost, flexible solution for gaining a better understanding of the identification and use of handheld devices during a crime scene investigation. Online Training Summary Handheld devices – from cell phones and smart phones to gaming devices, tablets, and personal navigation devices – are everywhere today. Given that in most cases, every criminal, victim, and witness is carrying at least one type of these devices at all times, they play an increasingly critical role in crime scene investigations. Though the information stored on or provided by these devices was overlooked in the past, it now serves as valuable evidence in solving a homicide, identifying a person of interest, or convicting a suspect. As a result, law enforcement professionals need to understand the policies and procedures for investigating crimes involving these handheld devices. To ensure that law enforcement professionals around the country have continuous access to this training, Drakontas recognized the need for a flexible, no-cost program. Launched in February 2013, Crimes Committed Using Handheld Devices addresses this need by providing a self-paced, online training program that can be accessed in the workplace or at home via a standard web browser. The course is broken down into lessons that are comprised of small learning modules that range from 5-15 minutes each. These lessons address a variety of topics, including the identification of handheld devices, the technologies underlying them, evidence collection procedures, investigatory procedures and processes, and basic forensics techniques. The course also includes several real-world case studies to which students can apply practical lessons taught throughout the course to reinforce various concepts and topics. This online training program can be used independently or to support training conducted in classrooms by an agency or an academy’s certified training instructors. To ensure that the training meets the needs of criminal justice professionals with a broad range of expertise with handheld devices, the training is broken into five levels, ranging from the essentials training to an introduction of basic forensics analysis techniques. Each level of training builds on the previous one in order to steadily grow the student’s understanding and proficiency. Since its release in February, the training course has resulted in the registration of over 1,200 law enforcement practitioners. Drakontas is already looking to build upon the progress established with this training – planning to release a second iteration of the course with updated content and new topics – in mid-August. For more information regarding this free online training program or to register, click on the link below. Crimes Committed Using Handheld Devices