Industry News

Announcing the First Winner of the Magnet Forensics Scholarship Program

Eric Dalla Mura, Detective Corporal at the Burlington Police Department in Burlington, VT

We’re proud to announce the first recipient of the Magnet Forensics Scholarship Program: Eric Dalla Mura, Detective Corporal at the Burlington Police Department in Burlington, VT.

Eric worked with his Lieutenant to apply for the scholarship and subsequently devote time throughout the year for the free training and travel opportunities provided and we’re excited to see how he takes to the program. We caught up with Eric to get his thoughts on the program and what he hopes to accomplish with it — read the Q&A below.

And we’ve opened up the Scholarship program for 2019, so if you’re an officer who is looking to get a head start in digital investigations, apply today! This year, we’re also offering a scholarship opportunity for experienced digital forensics experts who have no experience with Magnet AXIOM. If you’re toolkit has other solutions and you’ve been wanting to learn how to use AXIOM and incorporate it into your workflow, apply today.

Magnet Forensics: What is your current role/department?

Eric Dalla Mura: I am a Detective Corporal at the Burlington Police Department in Burlington, VT.  I am currently assigned to the General Investigations unit.

MF: What has been your policing experience up until now?

EDM: I have been an Officer with Burlington for ten years but began my career as an Officer in Mesa, Arizona. Almost all of that has been as Patrol Officer with additional assignments as a Field Training Officer and various instructor roles over the years. I am also a member of the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

MF: How would you describe your knowledge of digital forensics up until now?

EDM: My knowledge of digital forensics comes from on-the-job training and experience, as well as an undergraduate certificate in Computer Investigations and Digital Forensics from Champlain College. I have a working knowledge in the field but my role does not let me focus on digital forensics all of the time. I know enough to be aware that I still have a lot to learn. 

MF: What made you want to get into the field?

EDM: A combination of things, but mainly a desire to specialize and challenge myself. After spending so much time as a Patrol Officer I wanted something new; I wanted to investigate bigger and more complicated crimes. I initially took advantage of my department’s tuition reimbursement program and found that I enjoyed learning the material and I was eager to apply it. 

MF: How did your application come about for the Magnet Forensics Scholarship Program?

EDM: I knew of Magnet Forensics as a well-recognized company but had never used their tools, so I went online to see what training they had to offer. I found the scholarship, and was able to convince my administration that an opportunity for free training and a temporary software license would be worth any time I would be out of the office.

MF: What are you hoping to achieve after completing the Scholarship Program?

EDM: I know I will come out of it with greater knowledge and experience. We are seizing an increasing number of devices that we incorporate into our investigations. I hope I can show through actual application that investing resources into our department’s capabilities is critical to the future of policing. 

MF: What are you looking forward to learning in the program?

EDM: There are things I know can be done but I don’t have the skill or knowledge to do yet. Most of my computer investigations are focused on the subpoena and warrant side of things. I want to get more out of devices when I have them, and I want to be able to explain it better in court when I do. 

MF: How has the support been from your leadership?

EDM: They have been completely on board with this scholarship program. Instituting a digital forensics or computer-related crime program in general has been more of a challenge. Funding, staffing and other issues are and always will be obstacles to overcome. At the same time, the leadership here is interested in doing what it takes to solve cases. Showing what we can do when we have resources in place is an important part of proving how important digital evidence is. I appreciate the department allowing me the time to take advantage of Magnet’s training.

MF: Any other thoughts you would like to share?

EDM: On behalf of BPD and myself personally, I will just say thank you again. It’s a great opportunity and I am genuinely excited to start training.

Learn More About the Magnet Forensics Scholarship Program

We want to give promising new officers an opportunity to get a head start in digital investigations. If you are currently performing a non-technical role and would like to explore future career opportunities in digital forensics, or you’re currently inexperienced with Magnet AXIOM, then this scholarship program is for you. Visit our Scholarship Program page and send in your application today!

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