Cellphone location analysis aids police officers in identifying potential suspects or proving that a suspect was at a specific location at the time of a crime. This process is not limited to a specific set of records. Therefore, investigators must be proficient in understanding cellphone provider records and additional sources that may be more accurate, so they are able to confidentially explain the results of their analysis.

To accomplish this, it is essential that police officers receive training in the following areas:

Radio Theory

As cellphone networks are based on Radio Frequency (RF) propagation, students will be taught a basic understanding of radio theory and a working knowledge of frequency, wavelength, amplitude, spectrum, and bandwidth.

Cellular Network Design

Each cellular network is a unique puzzle, intricately designed to serve its specific area. Understanding the reasons behind its design is critical for successful investigations, and to be able to address potential issues brought up by defense experts at trial.

Geographical Coordinate System

The location of any site, person, or device is based on the GCS worldwide. Students must understand how latitude and longitude are assigned and the difference between positive and negative values assigned to locations throughout the world.

Provider Network Records

Each provider creates and stores information on their customers' cellphone activity, and there may be slight nuances between the providers. Investigators must understand the information in each provider’s reports, as well as the meaning and limitations of each record.

Global Positioning System

This satellite-based navigation system provides accurate location information. Students must understand how this system operates to make critical decisions and comparisons related to additional data obtained in their investigation.

Mapping Cellphone Locations

The result of any cellphone location analysis during an investigation should provide a visual representa-tion of each cellphone analyzed and what that data might indicate regarding the investigation. The end product of this process helps investigators and prosecutors explain the data in provider records and location information from additional sources to defense counsel and later to judges and juries.

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About the Instructor - John Lucich

John Lucich is retired from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Organized Crime Racketeering and Corruption Bureau. Before joining the Attorney General's Office, he spent five years as a uniformed patrol officer with the Township of Fairfield, New Jersey. Throughout his career, Mr. Lucich has earned numerous certifications in digital forensics. He has served as an expert for 30 years in hundreds of civil and criminal court cases at the state and federal levels, including cellphone location analysis for over a decade.

Mr. Lucich was an adjunct professor of computer science for five years and taught digital forensics and the investigation of cybercrime at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Police Academy for over a decade. He has been a licensed commercial pilot for 50 years and a flight instructor who logged approximately 3,000 hours of flying time. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and has been issued the highest license, EXTRA, as a ham radio operator. Mr. Lucich’s academic achievements include an undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a master’s degree from New Jersey City University.

Mr. Lucich’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to teach this technical course on identifying locations based on various methods, processes, and data sources.

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