Heating up cold cases.
Futuristic forensics solve past criminal cases.
Crime-fighting gets collaborative.
Rapid advances in forensic science can shed new light on unsolved “cold case” crimes, where critical evidence may have lain dormant for decades—but the ability to solve these cases is largely contingent on the state-of-the-art laboratory spaces and highly technical equipment needed to decode these encrypted clues.
In Los Angeles County, outdated equipment, limited work space and lack of personnel plagued local law enforcement agencies. Without the necessary tools, these “cold cases” remained unsolved for years while new cases continued to accumulate. These inadequate facilities underscored the need for 21st-century laboratories that could keep pace with modern science.
A partnership between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) resulted in a vision for a new, multi-jurisdictional joint-agency crime lab to be shared with California State University – Los Angeles (CSULA).
This interconnected model supports close collaboration among the operational LAPD and LASD crime laboratories, CSULA academic departments and the California Department of Justice, and ultimately benefits the entire criminal justice community. The approach also creates internships and career opportunities for CSULA students and increases opportunities for faculty research and adjunct positions.
The Science Center now attracts top talent from around the world to solve “cold” and current criminal cases—and advances the future of forensic science in the criminal justice system.