HOUGHTON — In many criminal investigations, an important piece of evidence is a person’s cell phone.

Nearly everyone carries one nowadays and personal information can be stored on them, and in some cases, that information pertains to a crime.

It’s not just a suspect’s cell phone that can reveal new clues. Sometimes information on a victim’s cell phone can lead back to a person of interest.

Law enforcement departments from throughout the region took part in special training, presented by Cellebrite, a company specializing in mobile forensics.

The training will make it easier for local departments to analyze data from cell phones and tablets without having to send them to a state police crime lab.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Klein with the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department said, “Right now, we would package it up and send it away to, I believe the closest one is in Marquette. In their crime lab, they have a unit. Now that we’re going through this training, we won’t necessarily have to send it to the crime lab, we’ll be able to do some of that ourselves here. When you send things to the crime lab, there’s a backlog, so it’ll be a little bit quicker for us to do it here in house.”

Which could save valuable time when investigating a case.