ATHENS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Athens Police Department has been approved to buy special software and hardware used to scan cell phones for potential evidence during the course a of a criminal investigation.
The City Council approved the $17,000 purchase this week.
The police department will use the funds to buy three software and hardware combination units to analyze cell phone data.
Police currently have to drive the phones to Columbus to be analyzed and are not able to get information back for up to four weeks. Police Chief Tom Pyle says the new technology will allow them to do the same work in-house and get results back in less than 24 hours.
Pyle says the department runs into situations where this technology could be used two to three times a week.
Investigators will only be able to analyze phones if they are given permission, have a warrant or are collecting evidence as part of an investigation.
Pyle says data not important to the case will be thrown out, destroyed, or returned to its owner by a judge.
According to Pyle, any information taken from the phones will be stored remotely and treated carefully like any other piece of evidence.