Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2022 and has been updated for accuracy, comprehensiveness, and resource availability.
For law enforcement professionals, ongoing training is critical to your career. The challenge is that nine times out of 10, most departments are tasked to deliver that training at low (or no) cost. At Grayshift, we believe in lifelong learning and encourage our employees and customers to take advantage of resources to help them further their careers. Keeping up with technology and fine-tuning your expertise empowers you as a law enforcement professional to work effectively and efficiently while maintaining the quality and integrity of your investigations. Grayshift offers numerous learning resources, training resources, and a low-cost certification program through Grayshift University, which you can learn more about here: How to Obtain Your GrayKey Operator Certification. However, there are other additional free and low-cost training options for technology investigators we’d like to call to your attention as well.
FBI Cyber Shield Alliance – Virtual Academy Cyber Certification Program
The FBI Cyber Shield Alliance provides extensive resources for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners focused on protecting and defending against cybercrimes and cyber threats.
Introductory classes in the program include but are not limited to:
- Basic Networking for Investigators
- Obtaining and Analyzing Digital Records
- Exploiting Mobile Communications: Criminal Tactics and Investigative Techniques
Interested law enforcement personnel can sign up for the Cyber Shield Alliance via the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal. Click here.
Hexordia In Partnership with CYBER5W
In a recent podcast interview with Hexordia founder Jessica Hyde, Hyde mentioned that Hexordia, in partnership with C5W, provides technical training in the areas of:
- Computer Forensics
- Mobile Device Forensics
- Forensics for First Responders
- Internet of Things Forensics
- Parsing Unsupported Applications
All you need to do to take advantage of the free and low-cost course offerings is create an account with C5W. According to Hyde, many courses contain hands-on exercises and knowledge checks. Hexordia is actively building free and low-cost mobile content that they contribute to the site and encourages everyone to check the C5W training page regularly for more information on upcoming certifications. Certification courses are available on-demand, virtual live, and virtual live semester based.
National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)
NW3C has been dedicated to delivering high-tech crime investigation, digital forensics, and other criminal justice training and technical assistance at no cost to state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement for over 40 years. Some of the training NW3C offers includes but isn’t limited to:
- Economic Crime Courses
- Cybercrime Courses
- Intelligence Courses
- Officer Cybersafety Training
To take advantage of this free training (and certificates offered), you must be active law enforcement and have an account with NW3C.
Grayshift Grant Assistance Program
The Grayshift Grant Assistance Program is a complementary service that’s offered free of charge to help law enforcement professionals identify, pursue, and secure grants. The Grayshift grant team works with law enforcement departments to identify needs, assist with collecting data, and complete grant applications. In addition to this program, the grant team also provides free training to help you understand the 5 Rs of grant writing and what information you need to kickstart and write a successful grant application.
Watch Grant Writing 101 to learn more about developing a competitive proposal, and how to properly submit a grant application.
DFIR Diva, also known as Elan Wright, founded her site to help those interested in Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars in training. DFIR Diva strives to make DFIR content and to train easy to find and affordable to pursue.
It’s highly recommended that you browse the DFIR Diva training resources yourself, as there are numerous topics to choose from. Still, some of the free and low-cost digital forensics options that caught our eye include the following:
- Digital Forensics Basics
- An Introduction to Mobile Forensics
- Mobile Threats Incident Handling
- Cybersecurity Digital Forensics Certificate Program
The website is easy to search by keyword and offers accessible and affordable training.
Wellness is a crucial element in law enforcement. Sometimes we have a hard time finding resources to help us figure out how to maintain physical and mental well-being. While SHIFT Wellness was explicitly designed for the needs of ICAC investigators, much of its material applies to all law enforcement.
You can visit the SHIFT Wellness website to review webinars and newsletters applicable to many wellness topics. Some of our favorite recent newsletter topics are No Regrets – Living Your Best Life and Keep it Simple. The SHIFT Wellness webinars cover various issues, from Wellness Program Implementation to Maintaining your Balance and the Basics of Secondary Trauma and Traumatic Stress. You can explore their website to sample past newsletters and webinars, subscribe to the mailing list, or register for an upcoming webinar. (Don’t forget to share with your coworkers!)
All the organizations and resources listed above provide law enforcement professionals free and/or low-cost training. You’re encouraged to take advantage of these learning opportunities and continue down the path to becoming the best law enforcement professional you can be. As a reminder, if you’re interested in pursuing any training or certification offered by Grayshift University, you’re encouraged to contact your sales account manager or visit Grayshift University with your approved login credentials.
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