The career development program will serve both forensic professionals and students by exposing participants to the knowledge and experience of subject experts through internships and lectures.
Four graduate students in the criminalistics program of Cal State LA were hired in 2010 under a federal grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to work part-time in the crime labs of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD). Their initial assignment was to review the case status of thousands of backlogged sexual assault cases to determine likely cases for outsourcing of the DNA evidence. This work entails sending out questionnaires or making telephone calls directly to police investigators and court personnel to determine the filing status, adjudication status, current investigative status, etc. This allows the Biology supervisors for the LAPD and LASD to distinguish between worthwhile cases to send out for examination and those that further DNA testing may not help such as those cases involving consent issues that are already District Attorney rejects. This strategy proves to be very successful because it frees up Criminalists from doing information gathering, and allows them to dedicate more time to casework.
CFSI Graduate Research Student
(Left to right) Daniel Glorae, Matthew Saucedo, Helen Wolcott and Froseen Dahdouh.
|The graduate students also gain valuable work experience from being in the crime lab environment and following agency evidence and administrative protocols. In addition to the gathering case status information on sexual assault cases, the graduate students were given small research projects and other assignments in the laboratory that were not directly related to criminal evidence. This provides the crime labs with extra manpower to handle those jobs that never seem to get done. To date, three of the original graduate students have been hired as full time employees of the LAPD and LASD crime labs because they have demonstrated skills and work habits hat those agencies value. As each graduate student is hired away, a new graduate student takes their place and the productive cycle continues.|
CSULA School of Criminal Justice & Criminalistics
California State University, Los Angeles Criminalistics Program:
Master of Science Degree
J. Edgar Hoover Scholarship Award winner
Cal State L.A. student Alejandra Ramirez won the $25,000 J. Edgar Hoover Scholarship Award.
For more info, check out Ramirez''s work on our Research page.