Janet Van Kampen, program director for the School of Public Affairs’ Public Safety Initiative, was recognized for her work to direct over $148,000 in state funding to bring cybercrime resources and training to Colorado public safety officials.
Van Kampen spearheaded efforts this year to use funding from Colorado Senate Bill 86 to support local cybercrime investigation units. She collaborated with Rod Walker, senior instructor of criminal justice and director of the Public Safety Initiative, to help these units better investigate and prosecute threats using digital forensics.
In a small ceremony at a School of Public Affairs faculty and staff celebration, members of the Colorado Springs technical investigations unit presented Van Kampen with an award to thank her for her work.
Investigations Division Commander Sean Mandel said in his remarks that, “I have known Janet for many years. The Colorado Springs Police Department has had a special relationship with Janet for a long time. And she did some very special things for the CSPD with this funding.”
Through Van Kampen’s efforts, the Public Safety Initiative upgraded the digital forensic labs of state and local law enforcement agencies with forensic and cyber-related hardware and software.
The program also provided on-campus digital forensics trainings to 16 local law enforcement agencies. The trainings helped equip agencies with education to better investigate financial crimes, criminal transactions, and internet crimes against children.
According to Van Kampen, “The three years I spent working in the Internet Crimes Against Children unit were rewarding and invaluable. The work they and others around the state do is what led me to submit my first funding proposal in January. Who better to receive this funding than the people who do work that nobody ever hears about?”
Gesturing to Mandel and Chief of Police Vince Niski, Van Kampen said, “This project was important to me personally and professionally. These guys are like family.”
UCCS established the Public Safety Initiative in 2017 to provide evidence-based academic quality training and non-academic credit educational services to law enforcement and public safety agencies. Its next endeavor will provide training for post-sexual assault interviews to UCCS police personnel and local law enforcement.