George Mason University to Lead DHS Criminal Analysis Center
Wednesday, August 02, 2017 | Comments

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) selected George Mason University to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and other partners for a new center of excellence (COE) in criminal investigations and network analysis (CINA). S&T will provide CINA with a $3.85 million grant for its first operating year in a 10-year grant period.

“We need to ensure that the nation’s law enforcement entities have the most sophisticated tools to counter transnational criminal networks, cross-border criminal activities and criminal exploitation of the cyber domain,” said Acting Under Secretary for S&T William N. Bryan. “This new center’s objective is to provide law enforcement agents, officers and investigators with those tools in the form of novel technologies and strategies.”

As lead institution, George Mason University will spearhead a consortium of academic, industry, government and laboratory partners throughout the country and will work closely with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement organizations.

The center’s research will focus on criminal network analysis, dynamic patterns of criminal activity, forensics and criminal investigative processes. CINA will work with DHS components and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to develop strategies and solutions for on-the-ground use by agents and officers to predict, thwart and prosecute crimes. CINA will also contribute to the education and development of both university students and professionals working in the realms of prevention, prediction, investigation and prosecution.

“By partnering with George Mason University and other institutions, our agents will be able to work with cutting-edge tools and research that will shape how we combat the growing threat of transnational crime,” said Derek N. Benner, acting executive associate director for homeland security investigations, ICE.

S&T’s COEs, established in 2002, are a network of researchers and educators focused on specific high-priority DHS challenges. The COEs work directly with the department’s operational agencies to solve complex and difficult problems across the homeland security enterprise. Each COE is led by a U.S. college or university and involves multiple partners for varying lengths of time.

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