Magnet Forensics awards global scholarships to help advance careers of digital investigators, improve public safety
April 17, 2023 By Blue Line Staff
Apr. 17, 2023, Waterloo, Ont. – Magnet Forensics has announced it is awarding scholarships to investigators in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Nigeria and Brazil to help them advance their careers in digital investigations.
For the third time in four years, Magnet Forensics is increasing the number of scholarships it awards to the public safety community. The 2022 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Awards will provide scholarships to six recipients, all of whom will receive training led by highly experienced digital forensic examiners and the opportunity to obtain an industry leading certification. They will also receive Magnet Forensics’ flagship digital investigation software, Magnet AXIOM.
“Magnet Forensics is proud to increase its commitment to investing in the modernization of policing by awarding scholarships to six promising investigators on four different continents,” said Jad Saliba, founder and chief technology officer at Magnet Forensics. “Digital investigations are playing a central role in saving innocent lives, but agencies are facing challenges in finding the resources and talent to carry them out. The winners of the 2022 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Awards will be able to help their agencies create their first digital investigation teams and expand their operations to increase the pursuit of justice.”
Magnet Forensics launched its scholarship program in 2018 to help police agencies address their growing talent shortage in digital forensics and to promote diversity in the profession. Budgetary constraints are limiting the ability of police agencies to create and bolster digital investigation units at a time when digital evidence has become pivotal to criminal prosecutions. These constraints are hindering their ability to investigate crimes such as child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and cybercrime. The recipients of the 2022 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Awards were selected from a competitive pool of applicants in two categories: new to digital forensics, which seeks to aid investigators with little or no experience, and an advanced category, which is open to experienced digital investigators who are looking to upskill and achieve certification.
The scholarships will be awarded in honour of Peel Regional Police Sgt. Steve Martin. As an Internet Child Exploitation unit investigator, Sgt. Martin played a leading role in arresting criminals who preyed on children before he died of cancer in January 2021.
The 2022 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Award winners are:
New to Forensics: John Freeman of the City of Girard Police Department in Ohio, Geoff Johnston of the Brantford Police Service in Ontario, and Jason Neems of the Queensland Police Service in Australia.
Advanced: Kristin Seering of the St. Louis County Police in Missouri, Joel Chukwuji of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Nigeria, and Ana Moura of the Military Police of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
“When I joined the Brantford Police Service’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, child exploitation cases were on the rise and I was struggling to obtain the training I needed to investigate them thoroughly,” said Brantford Police Service Det. Const. Geoff Johnston. “The Magnet Forensics Scholarship Award is going to allow me to complete my training and expand the Internet Child Exploitation Unit’s ability to assist with other investigations in Brantford involving critical digital evidence.”
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