Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $17,245)
Culver City is a city within Los Angeles County, which is approximately 5 square miles and has a population of 40,158 residents. It is home to Sony Pictures Television, The Culver Studios (formerly Desilu Productions), GMT Studios, and Columbia Tri Star Motion, amongst many others. Due to the thriving downtown area as well as studio production, it has a daytime peak population of approximately 300,000. The Culver City Police Department employs 105 officers and 54 civilian staff members. The Forensic Unit is a full service forensic unit and is comprised of 3 working specialists who respond to everything from thefts to homicides.
In 2009, The National Academy of Science (hereafter referred to as the NAS Report) released their report, "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Amongst the recommendations made by the National Research Council, the NAS Report identified a widespread inconsistency in procedural standards, training, accreditation and certification. The goal of the Culver City Police Department Forensic Unit (hereafter referred to as the Forensic Unit) is to begin the laboratory accreditation process with the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board- Forensic Quality Source, for ISO/IEC 17020, as well as have the Forensic Unit staff certified by the International Association for Identification (IAI), in crime scene and latent print examination. Accreditation and certification serves to eliminate substandard work that exposes cities to potential litigation and is needed in order to ensure quality control standards and performance standards as set forth by the accrediting body.
The Forensic Unit is also requesting funds in order to replace outdated equipment used for the detection of biological fluids and trace evidence. Currently, the Forensic Unit uses an Omniprint 1000 alternate light source, which is impractical for on-scene investigation. The Forensic Unit would like to replace it with a Crimescope® FOCUS LED alternate light source, which is compact, light weight, and hand held. It is a more practical and up-to-date approach to crime scene investigation.