SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - There's a new way to fight cyber criminals here on the Central Coast.
On Wednesday, the California Cyber Training Complex opened its doors in San Luis Obispo.This facility will provide a shared home to forensics investigators across the county.
"The idea [for that] being the resources of [agencies like] the Arroyo Grande Police Department, the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the County Sheriff's Office, San Luis Obispo Police Department, and the District Attorney's Office will be housed under one roof where we can help each other solve their crimes," explains District Attorney, Dan Dow.
This move comes as California is now the leading target of U.S. cyber attacks. A 2016 California Data Breach Report reveals three out of five Californians being victims of a data breach in 2015 alone.
"What they trick most people by is simple phishing attempts where an email will come across and it looks like it's from your bank or from one of your friends saying hey you need to click on this," says Major General David Baldwin from the California National Guard.
What makes this facility so unique is they are teaming up with Cal Poly students who are learning the newest ways to use cyber technology.
"They're naturally good with computers so it's a great alignment to have that need and understanding tied together in the same operation," Bill Britton, Chief Information Officer for Cal Poly tells us.
The CSU system helps produce about 50 percent of the criminal justice workforce in the state; this means students today could help catch the cyber criminals of tomorrow.
"There's a lot of digital evidence that we're just not aware of that we're just not collecting [and[ we're not taking advantage of. This laboratory is the way forward so that we can address that, stay up with technology so that the criminals are not two steps ahead of us but that we're right there with them," Dow explains.
Before this facility opened, the county only had part time staffers working on these crimes. They believe this new facility will drastically increase public safety.