Radford City Police Sergeant Chris Caldwell is the investigator for the New River Valley trained in mobile device forensics. He plugs in a phone and the computers extract all the phone's information, from voicemails to photos, and that includes deleted ones, too. In the past, police had to send devices to the state's labs to get the information Caldwell can now get in as little as a few hours. Even if a phone is damaged investigators, can still get information from it.
"It's very important, especially now with mobile devices taking over pretty much everything you do in your daily life," Caldwell said. "You can find out a person's alibi."
The Secret Service chose to give the Radford City Police Department this technology, citing a need for it in this area, Caldwell said. He said these tools have helped police departments be more efficient.
"You start out where you only have two suspects and you're getting enough probable cause to get a cell phone and a download on it, and based on that cell phone, you can get six to eight accomplices that you never knew were involved from the get go," Caldwell said.