Justin Fitzsimmons is Director of the High-Tech Crime Training Services (HTCTS) Program of SEARCH, overseeing a national program that provides expert technical assistance and training to local, state, and federal justice and public safety agencies on successfully conducting electronic crimes investigations. These courses focus on teaching how to investigate Internet and computer crimes, online child exploitation, cellular devices, and social networking sites, and the proper search and seizure of home and small office networks. The High-Tech Crime Training Services team led by Mr. Fitzsimmons also provides hands-on assistance in systems security and computer forensics. Before assuming his current position in 2019, he served as Program Manager of SEARCH’s HTCTS program, helping to coordinate training with law enforcement agencies, prepare budgets, oversee the HTCTS project staff, and develop high-tech crime training projects for justice, public safety, and homeland security agencies nationwide.
Mr. Fitzsimmons also conducts legal, policy, and regulatory research, prepares white papers, and provides assistance and instructional services to justice, public safety, and homeland security agencies, particularly in digital evidence recovery, investigation, and prosecution. He presents at conferences and trainings, participates on advisory committees and task forces, and supports agencies and jurisdictions as they create and implement effective procedures, practices, and technology applications that seek to combat high-tech crime and recover digital evidence.
Before joining SEARCH in 2012, Mr. Fitzsimmons worked for the National District Attorneys Association, where he was Senior Attorney for its National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse beginning in 2009. He responded to requests for assistance in child sexual exploitation cases from prosecutors and law enforcement around the United States, designed and presented training seminars, and published articles on emerging technological issues in child sexual exploitation. From 1998–2009, he was an assistant state’s attorney (ASA) in the State’s Attorney’s Offices for Kane and DuPage Counties, Illinois, where he prosecuted cases involving sexual exploitation and digital evidence. As an ASA for Kane County, he supervised the Special Prosecution Unit, responsible for investigating and prosecuting felony cases, including Internet crimes against children. He was also assigned to a Child Advocacy Center team that investigated and prosecuted cases of severe physical and sexual abuse against children, crimes of Internet solicitation of children, and child pornography. As an ASA for DuPage County, he worked in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau and the Felony Domestic Violence Unit.
Mr. Fitzsimmons frequently presents and teaches at international, national, and regional conferences, workshops, webinars, and training courses on digital evidence collection, computer forensics, crimes against children, cybercrime, and human trafficking. He has published articles on digital evidence authentication, computer forensics for prosecutors, child sexual exploitation, and more. In addition, he has drafted legislation that was signed into law in Illinois on several technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation issues from 2006–08. Mr. Fitzsimmons was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) National Strategy Working Group on Child Exploitation and co-chaired its Training Subcommittee. He also participated in the DOJ Office for Victims of Crime Working Group on Restitution for Victims of Child Pornography, the FBI Innocence Lost Working Group, and the Internet Child Exploitation Task Force. Mr. Fitzsimmons is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Ohio.