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National Forensic Science Week Reveals Time Consuming CSI Process

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SACRAMENTO -- Crime scene investigation is portrayed as a speedy process on TV, and for some CSIs, it’s where they were first exposed to the profession.

“Well, I started watching those shows on TV like most people do,” Stephanie Fernandez, a forensic investigator with the Sacramento Police Department, told FOX40.

Kaitlyn Gunther, another forensic investigator with the Sacramento Police, says real life plays out differently.

“TV, they only have so much time, they'll speed up the process. So, something might take a half-hour when for us, it takes like 10 hours,” Gunther said. “Some days are busier than others. Like yesterday, I had maybe seven calls that I went to. So you’re just going call-to-call around the city.”

National Forensic Science Week, which began Sunday, hopes to shine a light on the important role crime scene investigators play in the justice system.

Before a forensic investigator can step into a crime scene, they undergo about six months of in-house training. They learn about fingerprints, CSI processing, collecting evidence, and using different kits.

“Trying to identify someone that may have came in at a burglary. Or if we’re trying to look for evidence, we’ll take our alternative light source out there, look for that type of biological evidence, or even just collecting obvious evidence that we’ve got on scene,” said Fernandez.

Forensic investigators say their jobs are becoming more important in the courtroom, as judges and juries are increasingly relying on scientific evidence over testimony.

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