Troy Lawrence has two things that he revels in: "I'm proud to be Chickasaw, part of the unconquered and unconquerable. And I enjoy putting bad guys behind bars and making them accountable for their actions."
Troy Lawrence has been with the Fort Worth Police Department for more than 30 years, with over two decades as Sergeant and Supervisor of the digital forensics unit. Lawrence was wrangled into digital forensics in 1997 "because I was the only person in the vice unit that owned a personal computer. It took a lot of training over multiple years."
Lawrence, originally from Oklahoma City, received an academic scholarship to Texas Wesleyan University. While at TWU, Troy was on a partial scholarship, with expenses to meet. He was hired on as a dispatcher at the police department, and soon, wanted to be on the other side of the radio. So, Troy made the decision to go through the academy and after working as a patrolman, Lawrence moved into the vice section, where he cracked an early case using the suspect's computer. That's when Lawrence began digital training in Florida, becoming certified through the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) in 2001.
He soon paved the way for computer-based forensics from the ground up at the Fort Worth department. "They thought computers were a fad, now, everyone has a phone that has computer capabilities ..."
The rest, as they say, is history.
In 2004, Troy began coaching International Association for Computer Information Systems students and served as the Regional Manager for the Lower Central U.S. He served as Regional Manager until 2007, when he was asked to serve as the Chairman of the Recertification Committee. Globally, he teaches tips and techniques for IACIS, helping departments explore new ways to increase efficiencies and advance system-based strategies. "I go over to Europe at least once a year to teach, and I've been down to New Zealand and Australia. I enjoy teaching, it's changed drastically over the past two decades."
And during his tenure in the Fort Worth Police Department, Troy's expertise now has the unit recognized as a cutting-edge example in digital forensics. "Cell phones may have contacts, text messages, photos, even videos of the offense. They can put the people at the scene and we can show that they were involved in the crime," adding, "We have digital evidence on almost every single case."
And now, of course, his other true love. Troy had always been interested in his heritage since childhood, as his great-grandfather—George E. Criner—was an original Chickasaw enrollee. "I did all the research and got us registered with the Chickasaw Nation. I'm proud to pass that legacy on to my two daughters."