ST. GEORGE – United States Congressman Jim Matheson, D-Utah, visited the Dixie State College campus Wednesday and met with school officials and students in DSC’s criminal justice program.
As did Governor Gary R. Herbert, the day before, Matheson toured DSC’s Southwest Regional Computer Crime Institute and the construction site of the new Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building.
The congressman played a key role in helping secure the funding necessary for the creation the SWRCCI at DSC, along with former United States Senator Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
The SWRCCI is used to train students, police, prosecutors, business leaders and the public on identity theft prevention, computer crime prevention, detection and investigation. The program aims to reduce the devastating economic impact cyber crime is having on our economy by educating government employees and businesses.
“It’s great to stop by and see the progression of this effort,” Matheson told the students. “I remember when this was just an idea, and now it’s fun to see ideas germinate and ultimately become reality. “This facility and this program are going to go places that maybe none of us can fully imagine going,” Matheson added. “I think we can all feel that we are aggressive about embracing technology and creating opportunities in our educational environments where students can have access to cutting edge ideas. This is something that I know [DSC President Stephen D. Nadauld] values and it is something I value as well.”
Nadauld lauded Matheson’s work in helping make the Institute a reality and publicly thanked him for taking the time to visit the campus. “Congressman Matheson has helped us in many ways, and specifically in helping us get this crime lab,” Nadauld said. “[Matheson] is the epitome of what a great c
ongressional representative ought to be. Somebody who cares about the people, who works hard for the people, and is very effective in what he does.”
Housed in the DSC University Plaza, the SWRCCI is one of only five or six such institutes located on a college campus in the country. DSC’s Institute currently serves a dual purpose of training students in the field of digital forensics and supporting law enforcement through the operation and maintenance of a computer forensics lab. That training has also been enhanced with last month’s approval by the Utah State Board of Regents of Dixie’s new four-year degree program in criminal justice.
Upon successfully completing the program, students will be certified to work with and file digital evidence in connection with any criminal activity. Additionally, students will have the ability to conduct computer forensic examinations, which include the functions of imaging, analysis and reporting.
The SWRCCI is under the direction of William Matthews, a retired special agent for the FBI who specialized in forensics. Matthews noted that the Institute will afford students specialized training in computer forensics training not offered at any other school in Utah or the region, in addition to working side-by-side with law enforcement professionals in an effort to solve cases.