Debbie Garner, Solutions Evangelist
Debbie Garner
Solutions Evangelist

Grayshift is embracing #nerdcops and taking it to a whole different level. And I love it!  

Where Does #nerdcops Come From? 

If you have been following me for long on social media, you have seen me use the hashtag #nerdcops. You have probably also seen #predatorsofpredators, and its use follows some of the same reasoning as #nerdcops. I created and began using the hashtag #nerdcops between 2016 and 2017. I saw the need to bring awareness to the amazing work being done by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. I was, and still am, in awe of the intelligence, creativity, knowledge, experience, dedication, hard work, and passion of the law enforcement professionals with whom I worked and whom I supervised.  

Yet, despite all their hard work, there was a definite gap in the awareness and understanding of the quality and quantity of the technology-based investigations they were conducting. Not only were the public, politicians, legislators, and the media oblivious to the extreme volume and the nature of the job they were doing, even their coworkers in other work units in their own agency were unaware. So – I embarked on what ended up being a marketing campaign to change that and show everyone they were, in fact, extraordinary. 

Call Them #nerdcops 

It seems counterintuitive to call people nerds in this line of work. However, I have always wanted law enforcement professionals working on technology-based investigations to embrace the fact they have knowledge and skills other police officers don’t have. I want you to embrace it too. The technical search warrants you write and execute, the digital evidence you find and seize, and the people you rescue as a result mean something. When coworkers and law enforcement across the state call you because you know how to write the difficult, intricate search warrant, conduct the technical interview, extract the data, or find the evidence, it means you have skills and knowledge others don’t. And when you go unrecognized for those skills it affects your morale. 

As a supervisor during my time at the GBI, I set out to change that lack of recognition. I wanted others to embrace their skills as I did. Not only were they amazingly strong and tactical law enforcement professionals – but their big brains were also incredible. I wanted them to embrace their nerdy side as I did. I wanted others to see them as I did. Hence, numerous press releases and social media accounts were dedicated to posting all the amazing things the CEACC Unit and Georgia ICAC Task Force did using #nerdcops. And it worked! Their coworkers and command staff in their own agency took notice, as did the media, politicians, and the public. 

Fast forward to today, and now I am retired from law enforcement and work for Grayshift. Grayshift recognizes that those working in technical investigations deserve the recognition they may not always receive. So – we are embracing our nerdy side and celebrating the #nerdcops. Go look for “#NerdCopNews” on our Grayshift website (login credentials required). AND if you are lucky enough to be at Techno Security & Digital Forensics Conference Myrtle Beach 2022 – make sure you find the cooler Kevin Long, GKO MCFE has and try some NerdCop Brew – brewed by Jailbreak Brewing Company
Let’s see just how cool we can make being nerdy! 

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