GBI hopes to house cyber unit in new Augusta training center

GBI hopes to house cyber unit in new Augusta training center
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

DECATUR, GA (WALB) - Increasing crime rates is putting a strain on the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and with technology like phones and laptops, it added a whole new field of investigation within the past several years.

We are now just several months away from the legislative session, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said they plan to ask for staffing to put a unit of their own in the Cyber Crime Lab Center in Augusta.

The Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, a $60 million project will become a hub for the state of Georgia in cybersecurity research and development.

The project is scheduled to be complete next summer.

The GBI said they want to be apart of that but need the staffing and money to do so.

They plan to ask the Governor and State Representatives for that funding in the next General Assembly in January.

GBI Director Vernon Keenan didn't mention exactly how much money they would need to add these positions.

The Georgia National Guard, Georgia Technology Authority, Department of Economic Development, and many others will have a presence at the center.

"The GBI hopes to have an operational unit there but that is going to require staffing," said Vernon Keenan, GBI Director.

Director Keenan said they are up against other state law enforcement agencies that have pressing needs as well.

The GBI said they have been fortunate to get $850,000 in new funding from the state this year to add more scientists and lab technicians, with that they have been able to catch up on the rape kit backlog.

This additional funding would help them stay on top of violent crimes as well as crimes involving children which they say is a top priority.

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