Cindy Hull was studying criminal justice at Grossmont College when she secured an internship with the San Diego Police Department’s fingerprint division. Today she heads her own company doing contract work for a growing number of Bay Area police agencies and is a leader at one of the world’s leading forensic science identification associations.
She credits Grossmont College for much of her success.
“All of the courses I took at Grossmont College, from report writing to fingerprinting to photography, all of the courses that I took at Grossmont, have helped me and catapulted me to where I am today,” Hull said.
Hull, then Cindy Simpson, graduated from Grossmont College in 1994 and immediately went to work for the San Diego Police Department, where she had interned as a student. When her husband pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, Hull went to work for the Iowa State Criminal Investigations Division. The couple later moved to the Bay Area, and Hull began working with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. But after several years as a supervisor with the agency, Hull decided she needed to get back to her roots.
“As a supervisor, I was in more of an administrative role and getting away from casework,” Hull said. She left last fall. In January, she opened C.K. Hull & Associates Forensic Consulting Services, LLC, helping law enforcement agencies in need of forensic services.
How did she delve into the word of forensics and fingerprinting?
“When I was at Grossmont, I knew I wanted to do something related to forensics. With the internship at the Police Department, they put me working with fingerprints in the crime scene unit. I was hooked.”
Hull said fingerprint investigations appeal to her for myriad reasons. “You’re the first one to know who touched that surface. You don’t have to carry a gun. You don’t have to deal with the public. And you’re involved with a case from the very beginning at the crime scene to the very end in the courtroom.”
An expert in fingerprint identification, Hull on May 1 took over as president of the California State Division of the International Association for Identification. She is the second Grossmont College product to head the chapter, following instructor Edwardo Palma, a retired San Diego police officer, who served as president in 2011-12.
The role includes monitoring myriad committees, overseeing training programs and working with the international group. In addition, Hull is the coordinator for the Northern California Forensic Study Group where she brings free forensic training to local law enforcement agencies.
And it all began at Grossmont College. “The school played a vital role in my career,” Hull said.