Polk County Sheriff’s Office partners with Florida Polytechnic on new AI lab
Image via PCSO.

Grady Judd Florida Poly
The new technology creates a host of yet undiscovered possibilities for new crime, and PSCO officials are working with local researchers to get ahead of the problem.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is creating a new law enforcement unit that will focus on artificial intelligence and associated cybercrime. Florida Polytechnic University students and faculty will provide technical and research support, according to PCSO.

“Modern law enforcement needs to stay ahead of the technological curve when it comes to preventing, fighting, and solving crime. With the incredible upside potential benefits of artificial intelligence, there is a downside: criminals will use the technology to commit crime,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

“This is not only an investigative unit — it is a holistic unit dedicated to vision in, discovery, and creativity. Its purpose is to use what we learn to keep the community safe. We are proud to partner with Florida Polytechnic University to benefit from their renowned expertise and human talent to help fight crime.”

The new unit will:

— Obtain and maintain cutting-edge training and tools to help identify AI-related crime and criminals.

— Assist in criminal investigations involving the use of AI, including cyber harassment, identity theft, extortion, hate crimes and other related cybercrimes.

— Identify emerging AI technologies and leverage and/or combat the misuse of these technologies.

— Systematically vet new AI investigative software for use in a law enforcement setting.

— Provide ongoing updates on emerging AI technologies, methodologies and trending AI incidents to law enforcement leadership.

— Maintain up-to-date knowledge of developing AI trends, techniques, tactics and procedures of threat actors using AI technology, including extortion or blackmail trends.

— Identify and analyze deepfake and AI-altered images/video/audio production technologies and methodologies used to mislead the public.

— Identify federal, state and local agency partnerships for investigating AI incidents. Implement best policies and practices related to criminal AI investigations.

— Provide training and assistance in investigations related to AI (internal to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and to external partner agencies).

Florida Polytechnic University, based in Lakeland, is partnering with PCSO to develop and assist with the unit through technical and research support.

The partnership will afford students to gain real world professional experience working in and developing skills related to the AI field, including through providing advanced technology solutions to current Sheriff’s Office operations.

“This working partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a natural fit for our mission to serve students and industry through excellence in education, discovery, and application of engineering and applied sciences,” Florida Polytechnic University President Randy K. Avent said.

“We strive to find real-life applications to bring value to our students’ education and value to our community. This is one more way that we are leaders in building Florida’s technology-based economy.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • sundance

    June 11, 2024 at 8:39 pm

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