CCC’s FRED Helps Sheriff’s Office Solve Crimes

Cleveland Community College and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office are partnering to investigate cybercrimes through the use of the College’s Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED). The purpose of the agreement is for the collaboration and equipment sharing in the area of cyber forensics with the ultimate goals of maintaining a mutually beneficial cyber-forensic lab and ensuring students have opportunities to be exposed to subject matter experts in the field of cyber informatics and security.

The Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED) was acquired by the College in 2011 for use in the College’s Information Systems Security courses to teach students how to perform data recovery and digital/forensic investigations in a corporate setting. FRED is used as a tool for conducting forensic investigations on a variety of computing electronics, primarily smartphones, personal computers and laptops. Digital forensic investigators can use FRED to search hard drives and flash storage for evidence in criminal investigations. FRED can even recover files that have long been deleted by a suspect.


FRED is a valuable resource for CCC and the Sheriff’s Office.

According to Sheriff Alan Norman the use of FRED at CCC saves Cleveland County both time and money when investigating cybercrimes. “When an individual is charged with child pornography, for example, the alleged criminal’s computer is seized. The Sheriff’s Office must then use a device like FRED to thoroughly scan the computer for evidence. In the past, we have had to go to Charlotte to use such a device and often wait weeks to conduct our investigation. The partnership with CCC allows us to investigate almost immediately.”

In exchange for the use of FRED, the Sheriff’s Office will send an expert in the field to share experiences and information with students in the Information Systems Security program. Steve Putnam, Information Systems Security Discipline Coordinator is pleased with the opportunity for experts to speak to students. “You can only learn so much from a textbook. Students in our courses need the opportunity to get hands-on experience with FRED and learn from those that work in this field.”

“We value partnerships at Cleveland Community College. This is the perfect example of a partnership that allows the College to provide excellent opportunities for our students while saving money and bringing criminals to justice. What could be better?” contends Dr. L. Steve Thornburg, CCC President.

CCC offers the Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Technology – Systems Security, the diploma in Systems Security, and Certificates in Systems Security, Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures, and a variety of other computer-related degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

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