Monday, September 10, 2007

Well, at least we have good haircuts in California

Jan Burke poses a question:

Did you know that in the State of California, there are more minimum requirements set by the state for the training of the person who cuts your hair than there are for those who examine evidence in murder cases?

Here's her message:

Legislation to help California crime labs is now on the governor's desk. Assembly Bill 1079 would create a task force to conduct a much-needed review of the state of forensic science labs in the state. AB1079 was passed in the State Senate and Assembly, but Governor Schwarzenegger has thus far refused to sign it into law. We hope to avoid a veto of this important bill, and your help is urgently needed!

Please call, fax, e-mail or write a letter to the governor as soon as possible!

Here's the contact info:

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
E-mail via

Here is a sample letter:

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I am writing to express my strong support for AB1079, which would create the Crime Laboratory Review Task Force.

California's eleven state and nineteen local crime labs provide a wide range of forensic science services. However, there are no universal standards for certification for criminalists in California nor is there a mandatory requirement that all crime laboratories meet minimum standards. These labs evolved over decades without any statewide planning, review, or coordination to maximize their capabilities and effectiveness.

Our labs play a critical role in law enforcement, justice, and public health and safety. I urge you to sign AB1079 so that we may make the best use of this invaluable asset to our state.


[include your name, address and phone number when signing.]

Incidentally, there is another effort that I may or may not have discussed previously. People from the TV show "CSI" (Las Vegas version) are trying to help the city of Henderson, Nevada raise funds for a crime lab.

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