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Magnet Forensics Awards Scholarships to Help Officers Advance Careers in Digital Investigations

Scholarships to honour Canadian officer who committed career to the fight against child sexual exploitation

Waterloo, Canada. and Herndon, Va. — Magnet Forensics, a developer of digital investigation software, is awarding four scholarships to investigators based in the U.S., Greece, Nigeria and Brazil to help promising individuals advance in the field of digital forensics. The four recipients of the Magnet Forensics Scholarship Awards will receive Magnet Forensics’ digital investigation software, Magnet AXIOM, training led by highly experienced digital forensic examiners and the opportunity to obtain certification.

“Magnet Forensics is proud to invest in the modernization of policing through our scholarship program at a time when multiple barriers are still limiting the ability of promising investigators to enter digital forensics and help protect innocent lives,” said Jad Saliba, founder and chief technology officer at Magnet Forensics. “This year, these scholarships will be named in honour of Peel Regional Police Sgt. Steve Martin, who devoted his career to protecting children. His work and dedication will inspire the next generation of investigators.”

Sgt. Martin joined the Peel Regional Police in 2003, beginning his career on uniform patrol. Over the next few years, Martin would serve with the agency’s neighbourhood policing unit and its Criminal Investigation Bureau, before joining its Internet Child Exploitation unit in 2013. Martin was passionate about helping children: As an officer, he played a lead role in arresting criminals who shared and created child sexual abuse material. In between shifts, he was active in the local Big Brother community. He died in January after a long bout with cancer, leaving behind his wife and six-year-old daughter. He was 40 years old.

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 this field. Budgetary constraints are limiting the ability of police agencies to bolster their digital investigations units with new hires or train existing officers seeking an interdepartmental move, leaving labs overburdened at a time when digital evidence has become pivotal to criminal prosecutions. Faced with the same constraints, smaller police agencies are struggling to attract, train and retain digital investigators, which hinders their ability to investigate crimes such as child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and cybercrime.

The recipients of the 2020 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Awards were selected from a highly 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 investigators who are looking to upskill and achieve certification.

The 2020 Magnet Forensics Scholarship Award winners are:

New to Forensics: Shandra Hawes of the Westfield Police Department in Indiana, Mohammed Lambo of the Nigerian Correctional Service

Advanced: Evangelos Dragonas of the Hellenic Police in Greece, Lana Tanikawa of the Public Security Secretariat in Brazil.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Magnet Forensics for giving me the opportunity, as a rookie in the field, to learn from experienced digital forensic examiners and work with the most modern digital forensic technology,“ said Mohammed Lambo of the Nigerian Correctional Service. “Digital forensic technology is still new to Nigeria and our police agencies have faced several challenges in deploying it. This scholarship will help myself and the Nigerian Correctional Service set up our first digital forensic lab to investigate terrorism, banditry, human trafficking and kidnapping.”

Details on applying to the 2021 Magnet Forensics Scholarship can be found here: https://www.magnetforensics.com/magnet-scholarship-program/

ABOUT MAGNET FORENSICS

Magnet Forensics is a developer of digital investigation software that acquires, analyzes, reports on, and manages evidence from computers, mobile devices, IoT devices and the cloud. The company’s software is used by more than 4,000 public and private sector organizations in over 90 countries and has been helping investigators fight crime, protect assets and guard national security since 2011.