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Cyber crimes move to Notre Dame, student investigators join cyber crimes unit

NOW: Cyber crimes move to Notre Dame, student investigators join cyber crimes unit

NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The cyber crimes unit with St. Joseph County Police Department swore in six University of Notre Dame students as investigators on Friday. 


The unit moved to their new location at the university’s Hammes Mowbray Hall earlier in the summer. County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said he was glad to see the university and SJCPD work together to continue a program which places student investigators in the cyber crimes unit.


“This is just a great melding of resources to get the work we need out of what they’re doing,” Cotter said. 


Sam Alptekin, Notre Dame senior, has been in the program since he was a sophomore. He said he’s been able to accomplish a lot including carrying out a search warrant for a wanted person’s possessions. 


“It’s really a lot of fun to work here and to come here every day always interesting,” Alptekin said. “I don’t ever think about skipping it like you might a class or anything like that.”


The unit’s director Mitch Kajzer said the program has been in place for three years. He said the student investigators know technology better than the unit does. 


The student investigators work on a range of criminal cases including domestic violence, drug violations and homicide. Julia Gately, one of the student investigators, said Kajzer will spend most of the semester training them on cyber crime systems. 


“By the time we’re finished we should be able to go through, like, a suspect’s phone,” Gately said. “See what they’ve been up to and really get a full, detailed story of what the case has been.”


Kajzer said the student investigators outnumber the actual unit, 3:6. He said past student investigators did not stay in the community to find jobs in the cyber crimes unit. 


“I do know a couple of interns who are looking to come back to this area for opportunities,” he said. “Just the right opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet.”

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