State's Attorney's Office Cyber Lab to Receive Grant-Funded Upgrade

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


Jan. 6, 2022


For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Newton
(224) 374-2376



The Lake County State's Attorney's Office Cyber Lab

Grant Funding to Drive Major Upgrades to State's Attorney's Office Cyber Lab

(Lake County, IL) - The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has secured a $124,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to upgrade its Cyber Lab, enabling the office to escalate its fight against violent crime, sex crimes, and financial exploitation.

The Cyber Lab provides critical support to Lake County’s law enforcement agencies by using software and human expertise to retrieve and analyze text messages, video files, and geo-data from phones, laptops, and other digital devices.

The Cyber Lab is wholly operated by the State’s Attorney’s Office and consists of two full-time employees and dozens of forensic tools and computers. All State’s Attorney investigators and attorneys are able to use the lab, in addition to local law enforcement.

In May 2021, the office applied for the federal grant, called the “Innovative Prosecution Solutions Project” as part of Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart’s plan to seek new funds to upgrade technology. The office has never won this particular grant before.

“This federal grant makes the residents of Lake County safer. Prior to this upgrade, we were only able to analyze 70% of cell phones, for example. Now, with a warrant, we will be able to analyze many more suspects' locked devices and retrieve evidence that we would have lost in the past,” State’s Attorney Rinehart said.

The office won the Innovative Prosecution grant by explaining to the Department of Justice Lake County’s urgent need to deploy new technology in its efforts to turn back the rise in violent crime between 2016 and 2020. In addition to crime reduction, the grant will help reduce case backlog  that builds as courts and attorneys await forensic analysis.

This project will go hand-in-hand with the establishment of a new Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) within the State’s Attorney’s Office. The VCU will be assigned several experienced prosecutors who will work with law enforcement early in an investigation to develop complex evidence quickly. As a result, the VCU will need a strong Cyber Lab in order to quickly analyze phones and computers.

“Our cyber lab has needed an upgrade for years, and I am thrilled that our team was able to secure federal dollars for first time with this type of grant,” Rinehart said. “This upgrade will allow all parts of our office to better prosecute those who would harm our community.”

The Lake County Board is expected to officially accept the grant on Tuesday, Jan. 11th. The grant resolution passed unanimously out of the Law & Judicial Committee this past Tuesday and the Finance and Administration Committee on Thursday.


Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000