In 1984, a California based industrial security managers group approached the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to discuss their concerns about high technology crime. They noted there was a strong need for additional law enforcement training and investigative expertise to address this disturbing trend. They were alarmed that the fledgling high technology industry was suffering significant losses and public law enforcement had limited expertise and training to address the growing problem.
As a result, Santa Clara County District Attorney LeoHimmelsbach, applied for and received a grant from the California Office of Criminal Justice Planning Project for $238,216.00. On August 31, 1984, California passed legislation enacting the Santa Clara County District Attorneys High Technology Crime Prevention Program. The grant period was from January 1981 to February 1987. This was the start of the District Attorney’s Technology Theft Association (DATTA).
DATTA grew to cover 49 law enforcement jurisdictions (local, state and federal agencies) in California. During the grant period DATTA conducted numerous training events for law enforcement. Several law enforcement personnel from the Los Angeles area attended DATTA training and concluded they wanted to start their own organization in Southern California.
The Early Years: 1986 to 1994
In 1986, twelve representatives from Southern California law enforcement and security personnel from private industry (Some of the individuals present for this meeting were Lee McCown and Bob Brown, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Stan Kinkade, Orange County Sheriff’s Department; Jim Black, Los Angeles Police Department;, Clay Hodson, Richard Hite, and Tom Gleeson, Riverside District Attorney’s Office; James Rogan; George Emery; and Lou Herbert) came together with the assistance of an established DATTA to form the entity called the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA). Their first meeting was held at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Lee McCown was the first president of the new organization. Within a short time over 30 southern California law enforcement jurisdictions where involved with HTCIA. By the summer of 1988, HTCIA held its first state-wide high-tech investigation training seminar. It soon became clear that HTCIA would need to formalize its organizational structure and on March 17, 1989, members of the HTCIA located in Southern California filed for incorporation as a non-profit, public benefit corporation in California under Charter No. #1457907.
HTCIA’s early organizational structure provided for a National Board of Directors (NBD). Each HTCIA chapter, consisting of at least ten members, was to select two Directors at Large (One from Private Sector and One from Law Enforcement) to serve a one year term on the NBD. These Directors would in turn elect an Executive National Board (ENB) consisting of a Chairperson; Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant at Arms. The Vice Chairperson would assume the duties of the Chairperson at the end of their one year term. All other persons served one year on this ENB, which was the ruling body of the HTCIA. The first Chairperson of the ENB was Lee McCown of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Additionally, each HTCIA Chapter was to elect a Chapter Board consisting of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant at Arms to run the Chapter’s affairs. Like the ENB, the Vice President assumed the duties of the President at the end of their term. All other officers served only one year on the Chapter Board, which was the Chapter’s ruling body. Within a year of being incorporated, HTCIA, had the following five chapters: Southern California, Northeast Chapter, Midwest Chapter, Southwest Chapter, and Silicon Valley Chapter. In a 1990 letter to Chapter presidents, NEB Chairman, James Rogan, stated HTCIA had a national membership of over 380 people. Additionally, in 1990, it was agreed that private investigators could become HTCIA members.
Several chapters began sponsoring major training events. The Southern California chapter started sponsoring yearly three day training courses. In 1990, Silicon Valley Chapter started holding one day training courses. In 1993, the first HTCIA National training seminar was held at the Double Tree Hotel, near San Jose Airport, San Jose, California. However, by approximately 1994, the HTCIA organizational structure was again due for a change.
The Later Years: 1994 to 2011
In approximately 1994, HTCIA changed its officer structure from an NBD and ENB to the International Board of Directors Board (IBD) and the International Executive Committee (IEC). The NBD change to IBD was pretty much in name only. Two representatives or “Directors” were still selected by each Chapter to serve on the IBD, which remained the HTCIA governing body.
The changes from an ENB to the IEC were more significant. Specifically, the Chairperson; Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant at Arms became: President, First Vice President; Second Vice President; Secretary; and Treasurer. Terms of office remained the same, with the First Vice President becoming the President at the end of their term. The Chapter Board positions remained unchanged. The first president under the new structure was Jamie Trantor (Interestingly enough it took a few years for change to be completely accepted. In 1998, the President of the IEC was still being listed on the website as Chairman, even though the positions had been renamed).
In 1996, the Northeast Chapter hosted the International Conference in New York City. In a letter from Conference Chair, Sean Walsh to the IEC, it was noted that they had 200 attendees and the conference fee was $290.00. Additionally, it was noted that they had hands-on computer labs for the first time, courtesy of the National White Collar Crime Center. The number of computers was twenty-five.
In 1996, the Silicon Valley Chapter configured their annual training seminar so it was covered under the California Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) guidelines, a first for HTCIA. By the end of 1996, HTCIA had the following fourteen chapters: Arizona; Austin; Bay Area; Carolinas; Mid-Atlantic; Midwest; New England; New Mexico; Northeast; Northern California; San Diego; Silicon Valley; Southern California; and Southwest.
The IBD in 1996 also concluded that HTCIA needed to develop a centralized system for processing membership applications/dues and other operations indicative of a growing professional organization. As a result the paid position of Executive Secretary was advertised. In 1997, the Northern California Chapter hosted the International Conference in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It was the first time an HTCIA conference had live Internet connections and online investigative skills were taught. It was the also the first time it snowed at an International conference.
In 1999, under the leadership of IEC President Joe Chiaramonte, the concept of regions and regional training funding was developed. During that year HTCIA chapters were placed in the following five regions: Atlantic, Midwest, Pacific, Southeast, and Southwest and regional training grants were allocated. The year also saw the first chapter being sanctioned outside of the United States. Steps were also taken by the IEC, on motion of Treasurer Lee Curtis, to recognize outstanding examples of professionalism in the membership and in the field with the creation of Lifetime Achievement and Case of the Year Awards. These awards were to be given by the IEC every year at the annual conference. The year 1999, also saw the hiring of HTCIA’s first full time webmaster and Executive Secretary and the issuance of standardized membership cards.
In 2000, under IEC President Jim Murray’s leadership, HTCIA published its first newsletter and issued lapel pins to members. Additionally, in 2000, the listserv and e-mail server were begun under then Secretary, Michael J. Menz.
In 2001, IEC President Sean Walsh, advanced the idea of establishing four (4) at large chapters, Africa-At-Large, Americas At-Large, Asia/Pacific Rim At-Large, and Europe At-Large, to facilitate the creation of chapters where membership was not initially sufficient to a support a startup. Unfortunately, on the second day of the 2001 International Conference, September 11, 2001, terrorists struck United States. Despite the attack on September 11, the conference continued as everyone supported each other.
In 2002, the IBD voted to limit is size to only one representative per chapter, that representative being the Chapter President. In 2005, the IBD amended the bylaws to allow the 1st Vice President or the Secretary to be the chapter’s IBD representative if the president was unable to attend the IBD meeting. Additionally, the bylaws were amended to allow the chapter membership to elect an IBD representative if these chapter officers could not attend the meeting. Additionally in 2005, the IBD approved the Core Values of Truth, Security, Integrity, Trust, and Confidentiality.
In 2006, the IBD elevated the status of both the Life Time Achievement and Case of the Year Awards, establishing set criteria and mandating that the award winners be memorized in HTCIA records.
In 2010 the International Office took over the running of the International Training Conference and Expo from the local chapters.
In 2011, Duncan Monkhouse became the first non-United States member to be President of HTCIA. That year HTCIA held its first Strategic Planning session to assist the association in determining its goals and direction. The session defined a new vision statement, “To promote collaboration and education of our members”, and new mission statement “Provide education and collaboration to our global members for the prevention and investigation of high tech crimes” and big goal, “Become THE global association for high tech investigators”, and goals for the association’s future.
The Future of the HTCIA
HTCIA continues to solidify its position as the leader in professional organizations devoted to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes involving advanced technologies. Protecting Critical Infrastructure, which includes the generation of electricity, water, sewer, food production and transportation is one of our primary focuses. Understanding how Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are targeted help in the development of response guidelines and educating our members. Another area of concern is the threat of BioTech accidents or deliberate events. The organization faces many challenges, including how to best deliver high quality training to our members. We view these challenges as opportunities, but are determined to remain the premier professional organization concerned with high tech investigations