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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Forensic hands-on experience now available at Fullerton College

The Technology and Engineering Division opened a hands-on opportunity for criminal justice students to experience a real crime scene setting.
Matthew Gonzalez
Fullerton College president Cynthia Olivio cuts the ribbon with Shana Charles and Kelly Robertson during the Crime Lab opening ceremony on Friday, May 17.

*The original story was published in the wrong format, which showed photos with unedited captions, filled with misspellings and mislabeled people. The format has been correctly changed with proper spellings of all names and those featured are correctly identified.*

The Fullerton College Administration of Criminal Justice program along with the Technology and Engineering Division opened their first crime lab in building 2300. The event happened on Friday, May 17, and welcomed students from the college, high school dual enrollment students and future Hornets.

The Criminal Justice Program offers the Crime Scene Investigation Certificate. To obtain the certificate, students must complete 17 units of criminal justice classes with a minimum grade of a C, and at least half of those classes must have been completed at Fullerton College.

Some of those classes, like AJ092F and AJ230F, will have lessons in the lab. The crime lab is set to expose students in the field to training in different forensics skills. Some of these skills are how to extract, transport and use DNA and fingerprints as evidence, as well as using light tools and chemical technology.

Bryan Chavez

“We are working with photography, we are working with alternative light sources… how to basically expose the scene in different lighting,” said Adjunct Forensics professor and supervisor at the Fullerton Police Department Letty Ramirez.

Ramirez explains that hands-on experience in her career of forensics was crucial for her success in the field. The opening of the crime lab intends for students to get the same experience that she and other law enforcement personnel have had.

“In my community college, I got to drive a CSI van, I got to process evidence in a van, I got to use different chemicals, I got to use different technology,” said Ramirez.

One of the main goals for the program is to create bridges for students to access jobs in police departments such as the Fullerton PD. Internships and workshop opportunities will be present for the students’ paths to their certificate, as Ramirez explained.

Forensic supervisor for Fullerton Police Department Letty Ramirez speaks about the partnership Fullerton College has with the police department. (Matthew Gonzalez)

Ramirez emphasized that the idea is to also expand the program to create connections with high school students. The dual enrollment opportunities offer high school students the chance to start taking criminal lab classes at Fullerton College.

“We are working on creating a bridge with the high schools, whether it is through ROP, or whatever high school program they offer that is forensic related,” said Ramirez. “Now that we have them here, we can put them on a path to get their AA and to get their certificate.”

Charles Fanning, Director of the Career Fire Academy at La Habra High School, attended to support the opening of the crime lab. He said that in his school, three classes are offered on site as part of the dual enrollment program. Those classes add to the certificate completion requirement at Fullerton College.

“Students’ transitions from high school to college, is the lab integration, or is used to work necessarily independent,” said Fanning.

The Fullerton College crime lab will be open not only for criminal justice students, but also for students in biology, photography or any other program that might find the spot useful for their academic endeavors, according to Ramirez.

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About the Contributors
Pedro Saravia
Pedro Saravia, News Editor
Pedro Saravia is the News Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. He previously wrote for Inside Fullerton magazine. Pedro is a five-time award winning journalist. He received Meritorious recognition from JACC and second place for Sports Investigative Story from CMA for his work investigating Title IX issues at Fullerton College. Pedro has also won second place in Profile, second place in Photo Illustration and an honorable mention in Audio Podcast from JACC. Pedro enjoys going to the gym, playing and watching soccer, and hanging with his brother. He aspires to be a politics and sports reporter.
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Staff Reporter
Bryan Chavez is a reporter for The Hornet Newspaper. He has been on The Hornet three semesters. He is a national CMA Pinnacle award winner in best use of Short (sub-3 min) Video for News & Information, in which he received third place. Bryan is also an OEC mens soccer champion with Fullerton College. Bryan enjoys being in the classroom where he gets to learn how to improve his skills. Bryan's end goal is to become a sportscaster or a journalist. Bryan also enjoys playing soccer with his friends and going to the gym.
Matthew Gonzalez
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Photographer
Matthew Gonzalez is a third semester staff photographer for The Hornet. Aside from being a staff reporter, he is also into sports photography. Matthew's passion in sports comes from watching and covering football, soccer, and basketball. During his free time he enjoys working out or listening to music. He is a huge Taylor Swift lover. Matthew plans on transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall to get a bachelors degree in Journalism.  His end goal is to work for a newspaper company.

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