Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell is donating $1 million to help finance a crime scene investigation academy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Associated Press quoted Cornwell as saying, “I've seen cops walk through blood. I've seen them leave their own fingerprints on a window. I've seen bloody clothing put in a plastic bag, instead of a paper bag, so it decomposes.” As her contribution was announced, she bought full-page advertisements in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today to explain that she did not mean to condemn law enforcement.
“I have been a devoted supporter of law enforcement for almost 30 years, and am intimately aware of the dangers and difficulties faced by those who protect us daily,” she wrote. John Jay president Jeremy Travis told the New York Times, “She wants to set the record straight and make clear to law enforcement professionals and others interested in the fields her strong support for the work of law enforcement agencies in carrying out crime scene work.” The Crime Scene Academy, scheduled to open in the fall, will involve training in DNA examination, fingerprint techniques, ballistics investigations, and methods of evidence collection and crime scene analysis.