Attorney General Harris has met with many law enforcement leaders across our state. During these meetings, a few themes have emerged as common to every region. There is nearly universal concern about transnational gangs operating in our communities. To address these concerns, one of the presentations at the Zone V Meeting addressed transnational gangs and the linkages between prison gangs and their counterparts operating on the streets of California and internationally. This presentation was given by California Department of Justice Senior Agent Javier Salaiz and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation transnational gang expert Steve Contreras.
The second presentation focused on DNA and forensic technology, with a specific emphasis on the advances in “familial DNA” searching and how this new forensic technique can help identify suspects in cases where traditional forensic testing is not sufficient. This presentation was given by California Department of Justices Bureau of Forensic Science Chief Jill Spriggs, Santa Cruz Chief of Police Kevin Vogel, Santa Cruz Deputy Chief of Police Rick Martinez and Santa Cruz County District Attorney Bob Lee.
The third presentation provided an update from the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms Acting Chief Stephen Lindley on the progress of the Armed and Prohibited Persons Program, which is designed to collect firearms from persons who are prohibited from possession them as a result of felony convictions, being subject to a domestic violence restraining order and other disqualifications.
The meeting included other staff from the California Department of Justice, including Division of Law Enforcement Director George Anderson and Deputy Director Larry Wallace. The California counties represented at the Zone V Meeting included Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare. This was the inaugural meeting of future Zone Meetings that Attorney General Harris will be hosting throughout the state.