DNA training for LA criminalists to help cut backlog of sex assault cases

A million-dollar federal grant to Cal State Los Angeles will help crime labs in the city and county of LA catch up on a backlog of evidence in sexual assault cases.

Harley Sagara is the training coordinator for the California Forensic Science Institute. He says the program will train rookie and experienced analysts in new techniques for DNA analysis.

Harley Sagara: "This doesn’t by any means allow you to start right in on criminal evidence. This gives you your basics. And then you go back to your own laboratories and they’re given basically practice samples to work on then you can monitor the progress of the students that way."

Sagara says a dozen criminalists will begin about a two-year training program with this project. In the near term, some of the money will pay to send evidence to trusted private labs for sampling.

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