COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force announced Friday that Captain Scott Richardson of the MU Police Department will be joining the task force, according to a news release from the organization.
Richardson’s duties focus mainly on reviewing computer hard drives and preparing those devices for forensic exam. He has both technical training and experience in the field of computer forensics. He has already been assisting the task force in their efforts, but this announcement makes him a fully active individual member of the task force.
“It’s important that we have as a part of the working task force members of the other agencies,” said detective Andy Anderson, coordinator for the task force. “He’s got experience and it’s a really, really good fit.”
Richardson, a 15-year veteran of the MU Police Department, is currently the captain for support services for the university and serves as the department’s public relations officer. Richardson works in areas related to his new duties with the task force, such as handling cases related to the Wetterling Act, which requires a registry of sex offenders and crimes against children, and the Jeanne Clery Act, which requires universities to disclose information about crime on their campuses.
Richardson and his department recognize the importance of having specialized training and being prepared for technology-related crimes.
“A lot of crimes that we have do involve some type of computer equipment,” Richardson said.
He will be adding his duties for the task force to his current responsibilities with the police department, but did not express any concern that he will be able to handle the added commitment.
“I have a lot of help and a lot of great employees around me,” Richardson said.
The Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force was established as a cooperative effort among law enforcement in Boone, Audrain, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard and Randolph counties. The main function of the task force is to investigate allegations of criminal activities committed through the use of computers and the Internet within these counties.
The task force has been responsible for aiding police agencies in the mid-Missouri area with technology-related crimes, such as the recent arrest of Columbia resident Darren Robert Johnson, who has been charged with promoting child pornography.
Anderson said the task force enables members to share resources and talents with other members who do not have the same talents or staffing abilities.
“Not every police agency has the resources to assign somebody to the task force,” Anderson said, “which is one of the reasons why it’s so important.”