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The Bureau of Investigation (BI) is a law enforcement bureau of California's Office of the Attorney General that provides expert investigative services to assist local, state, and federal agencies in major criminal investigations ranging across the state.
The BI was formerly named the "California Bureau of Investigation" as an agency of the California Department of Justice. The official name was changed to the Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence (BII) in 2009. It was later merged with parts of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement to create the Bureau of Investigation on February 17, 2012. The BI commonly works on a variety of cases, including murder and narcotics trafficking.
The BI can be assigned at the discretion of the State Attorney General; performs investigations on public land for incidents that occur outside of local jurisdictions or can be requested by local authority for various reasons (e.g. areas that are too small to have local detectives or cross-jurisdiction coordination of major crimes).
A fictional version of the agency, still using the CBI name, was featured in the television series The Mentalist. It featured several units, with the one featuring the main characters focusing mostly on the investigation of homicides, and occasionally kidnappings or missing persons. The Region 1 DVD release of the fourth season of The Mentalist includes the special feature CBI: Behind the Badge, focusing on the interaction of real-life law enforcement officers in California, including some within the CBI, with those who tutored those who worked on the program in providing a realistic portrayal. The fictional CBI was disbanded in the middle of the sixth season, after its director was revealed to belong to a criminal gang made up of law enforcement officers.
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