The Ellis County High Technology Crime Unit (HTCU) was formed in August of 2002 in an effort to combat the increasing reality of computer crime. The HTCU is comprised of the Hays Police Department, Ellis County Sheriff's Department, Fort Hays State University Police Department, and the Ellis County Attorney's Office. Increasingly, criminal investigations require expert understanding of how to access and manipulate information stored on computers, cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices. The HTCU is able to perform comprehensive forensic examinations of electronic devices and preserve and analyze digital data seized from computer systems and mobile devices that are needed from criminal prosecutions of defendants.
The Hays Police Department is an affiliate agency with the Kansas Internet Crime Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The department members assigned to the HTCU assist the Kansas ICAC Task Force with investigating CyberTipline Reports that may involve local electronic service providers. CyberTipline Reports are submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and are then sent out to one of the many ICAC Task Forces that are across the nation. Members of the HTCU have also received corroboration and training from other regional task forces, including the Federal Bureau of Investgiations' Kansas City Cyber Crimes Task Force and the United States Secret Service Kansas City Electronic Crimes Task Force.