By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)December 10, 2008
Two specialized units from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's 701st Military Police Group (CID) recently received top awards for their investigative and community efforts, both nationally and internationally and at the highest levels of law enforcement.
The Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU) took top honors and received international recognition at this year's International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Exposition for their efforts in Homeland Security by winning the "Community Policing Award." More than 100 national and international law enforcement agencies were nominated for the award that recognizes community policing practices as an integral part in terrorism prevention and response.
"It was good for the folks here at CCIU to get the international recognition for the work we are doing," said Special Agent Michael Milner, director of CCIU. "The hardest part of our job is trying to keep up with the sinister use of technology and to stay proactive instead of reactive."
CCIU conducts investigations of intrusions and related malicious activities involving Army computer networks and systems. Since its creation, CCIU has led to arrests of Soldiers, civilians and foreign nationals worldwide who were engaged in cyber crime directed at the U.S. Army.
In October, Special Agents Ray Rayos and Mark Mansfield from CIDC's Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) were recognized by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE), for their outstanding work conducted as part of a multi-organizational task force in Texas. The award recognizes exceptional or outstanding individual and team achievements and contributions to the Office of the Inspector General. Both special agents' names were inscribed on the award for their contributions and tireless investigative efforts on the task force.
"The award was especially meaningful because in addition to being recognized for advancing the ideals and purpose of the PCIE, our investigative efforts resulted in protecting the assets of the US Army," Rayos said.
The PCIE is mostly made up of Presidentially-appointed Inspector General's from various government organizations.
"The awards represent the most substantial achievements that best reinforce the government's efforts to promote integrity and efficiency," said Jim Podolak, deputy director of MPFU.
The MPFU centrally directs and coordinates all fraud investigations worldwide and works with other federal agencies on a regular basis. MPFU investigates allegations of fraud involving weapons and support systems within the Army and provides investigative support for civil/military contracts awarded or administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Years before coming to CID, Milner, who is no stranger to community policing, said he began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer in a small Virginia town where knowing the community was vital. He brought that philosophy to CCIU when he took over as director in September of 2006. He said that it was this upbringing that helped him with CCIU's virtual community policing efforts.
"It's all about building partnerships, and then improving those community partnerships to help educate the Army on cyber crime and prevention," said Milner. "We are here to help Soldiers, DA civilians, contractors and family members."
As the Army's Center of Excellence for computer crime investigations and with a worldwide mission, building partnerships becomes all the more important. An example of this partnership is the turnkey educational briefings provided to the Army from the CCIU's AKO webpage. From the Cyber Lookout, educating the Army on internet safety, to cyber crime alert notices to partnering with other local, state and federal agencies, CCIU is always on the go.
"The mission is nonstop and multilayered, but for us, success is to have an Army community that is informed, intelligent and educated," he said. "This makes it all the better."
For more information on CID visit www.cid.army.mil