California Criminalistics Institute

CCI logoWelcome to the California Criminalistics Institute homepage. Under the umbrella of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensic Services, CCI provides specialized forensic training to forensic laboratory and law enforcement personnel. Besides standard forensic discipline classes, we also offer professional conduct classes to prepare scientists and law enforcement personnel to make ethical decisions while handling criminal evidence and to explain their background and findings in court. CCI strives to offer classes throughout the state of California in order to keep travel and training costs low.


To provide state and local forensic scientists with a vehicle for keeping abreast of the ever-changing trends and discoveries in the field of forensic science.

The Beginning

For years, there was a need in California for a training and research facility to serve the law enforcement and forensic science communities. Since California’s criminal justice system lacked the resources to fund such a facility, the Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) began developing a program to meet the need. In 1985, BFS sought legislative and law enforcement support for the creation of the California Criminalistics Institute. Through the efforts of then Attorney General Van de Kamp, Senator John Seymour, BFS Chief Stephen Helsley, California’s district attorneys, sheriffs, and police chiefs, CCI was conceived. CCI became a reality when Governor Deukmejian signed SB 2390 (Chapter 1040, statutes of 1986) in September 1986. BFS Chief Stephen Helsley coined the term "California Criminalistics Institute."
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Present Day

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Today, CCI puts on between 70 and 90 classes each fiscal year in locations up and down the state of California. Our primary teaching facility is located in Sacramento, CA.

CCI is currently offering in person, on demand, and hybrid learning classes.

Students taking CCI classes include criminalists, evidence technicians, detectives, and crime scene investigators from city, county, state, and federal organizations.

CCI Staff

Name Position Title
Chris Gale Criminalist Manager
Mike Appel Criminalist Supervisor
Nancy McCombs Criminalist Supervisor
Hillary Bantrup Senior Criminalist
Jennifer Batt Senior Criminalist
Kimberly Grach Senior Criminalist
Donna Kleeburg Criminalist
Waheed Jawadi CCI Forensic Librarian
John Jang Senior Industrial Hygienist
Bobbie Vang Staff Services Analyst
Brittany Glick Crime Analyst-I

Core Directives

CCI was conceived to be a pathway to incorporate new and developing forensic technologies to California’s criminalistics laboratories. As a result CCI:

  • Provides forensic training to state and local law enforcement
  • Provides literature and analytical reference information to California’s criminalistics laboratories
  • Develops and evaluates new methodologies and equipment that will be used to provide more definitive answers to forensic evaluations
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Course Types

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CCI offers classes under the course areas of:

Course Area # of different classes offered
Professional Development 7
Chemistry 9
Firearms and Impressions 29
Health and Safety 1
Microscopy and Trace 3
Biology and DNA 10
Crime Scene 8
Toxicology 3
FY 2018/2019