RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office has received a substantial funding grant to fight cybercrime against minors.

The NC State Bureau of Investigations awarded the sheriff’s office with a grant of $73,468.

It’s called the Internet Crimes Against Children Grant (ICAC) and is reserved for agencies that investigate ICAC across the state.

The funding will allow for the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office to add a forensic workstation, purchase mobile forensic equipment and software and send deputies to advanced training.

Currently, the sheriff’s office has two detectives assigned to ICAC investigations. Those detectives are also responsible for electronic forensic analysis. One of the detectives is also an ICAC task force officer with Homeland Security Investigations.

The sheriff’s office says that the equipment purchased with the grant funding will allow the detectives to work on multiple cases simultaneously.

“The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office prioritizes ICAC investigations and diligently seeks every opportunity to improve the technology to investigate related crimes,” said the sheriff’s office in a statement.

Randolph County’s ICAC unit receives an average of 51 cyber tips annually and 38 of those are under active investigation.

The ICAC unit also processes electronic forensic evidence for eight other agencies:

  • Randleman Police Department
  • Siler City Police Department
  • Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
  • Asheboro Police Department
  • Liberty Police Department
  • Seagrove Police Department
  • Ramseur Police Department
  • Homeland Security

The sheriff’s office says their unit has processed 48 devices for other agencies since August of 2021 on both a state and federal level. They have received over 193 requests for forensic analysis in the last year alone.