(From left to right), LBPD Deputy Chief David Hendricks, CSULB PD Chief Fernando Solorzano, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, LBPD Chief Luna and LBPD Deputy Chief Richard Rocchi. Photo by Karen Holden.
Criminology students at California State University, Long Beach will soon have more internship opportunities in forensics work and in research on new policing strategies and police training, thanks to the launch of a partnership between the school and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), CSULB officials announced.
The partnership will involve the College of Health and Human Services—where the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management is housed—and the College of Engineering, which boasts faculty with extensive knowledge in biometrics and bioinformatics, school officials said in a press release.
The partnership will give students an opportunity to learn from law enforcement directly, better preparing them for careers in criminology and criminal justice, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley stated.
“The LBPD will also benefit from access to the extensive knowledge and experience of our faculty and the enthusiasm and new ideas of our diverse students,” she added.
The first collaborative project will be the evaluation of LBPD’s body-worn camera pilot program, which is expected to launch later this year.
“We’re excited to partner with CSULB in academic research that will ultimately benefit our community,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna in a statement. “Anytime we introduce new technology, we evaluate its effectiveness, and the opportunity to partner with CSULB’s experts to accomplish that task will be invaluable."
The department plans to purchase at least 50 body-worn cameras, with the pilot program expected to run from six months to a year, Cmdr. Paul LeBaron told the Post in a previous interview.
As part of the program, researchers from CSULB’s criminal justice department and The Urban Institute will also conduct a national study on the effectiveness of police practices through the use of body-worn cameras.
The alliance between the school and police department will also allow for joint opportunities to pursue grant funds for various research projects within the School of CCJEM, the release stated.
The partnership will also allow an expansion of the number of internships available to the 800 students studying criminology and criminal justice and related fields, according to the release.
Additional collaborative projects are being discussed for the fall.
“Partnering with CSULB to provide internships has given many students the chance to gain insight into the operations of our city,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “And, we’re taking it one step further by connecting students and faculty with our Police Department in research that can ultimately benefit our entire community, so it’s really a win-win."