University Times

10 Years of Forensic Crime Solving

Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center celebrates its 10 year anniversary.

Left+to+Right%3A+Sen.+Hertzberg%2C+President+Covino%2C+Former+Gov.+Davis%2C+LA+Sheriff+Jim+McDonnell
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10 Years of Forensic Crime Solving

Left to Right: Sen. Hertzberg, President Covino, Former Gov. Davis, LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Left to Right: Sen. Hertzberg, President Covino, Former Gov. Davis, LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Michael Griego

Left to Right: Sen. Hertzberg, President Covino, Former Gov. Davis, LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Michael Griego

Michael Griego

Left to Right: Sen. Hertzberg, President Covino, Former Gov. Davis, LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Alexandrea Bell, Contributor

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Cal State LA recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. This building is home to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) crime labs. It is the largest municipal-regional crime lab in the nation and second largest crime lab in the U.S. with Quantico being number one. It has also been featured in scenes from the Amazon series, “Bosch”.

Senator Robert Hertzberg and former Governor Gray Davis, whom the building is named after, were in attendance. They received Cal State LA Presidential Medallions which is the University’s highest award given to individuals who “exhibit consistent service to the Cal state LA community and possess excellent leadership skills.”

“It feels terrific because when you are in public office and I was privileged to serve for more than 30 years, what you want to do more than anything else is to make a difference for the people you serve,” said Davis.

Other notable guests in attendance were Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacy, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and California Highway Patrol Commissioner and Cal State LA alumnus Warren Stanley.

Students in white lab coats lined the doors of the building allowing invited guests a glimpse into the state-of-the-art facility. The building is home to Cal State LA School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, and California Forensic Science Institute.

Students demonstrated their skills by displaying luminol tests that exhibit a blue glow when interacted with an oxidizing agent, as well as displaying recreated crime scenes including blood spatter analysis and fingerprints.

Mr. Hertzberg described why he was so passionate in creating the facility:

“The crime lab is not about the guilty or the innocent; it’s about the truth. This new technology was at a time when we started the OJ Simpson trial and people were doing DNA in these old laundry rooms and it was horrible.”

This facility brings Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) to life by allowing students to get hands-on experiences. Trace evidence, narcotics and toxicology are just a few areas of study students get to experience.

Students also get to work alongside some of the best crime investigators in the nation and can collaborate with the LAPD and LASD in research opportunities and internships.

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