Houston Forensic Lab Receives Accreditation

Forensic-Science

The Houston Forensic Science Center, otherwise known as the HFSC, has undergone quite a few changes in the last few years. Previously, it was known as the Houston Police Department Crime Lab. In its run as the HPD’s Crime Lab, the unit’s operations included the department’s crime scene unit and parts of the identification division.

However, the name of the lab has been revised to the HFSC, as the unit continues to expand. Now, the unit currently operates in eight forensic disciplines and continues to expand. A board of directors appointed by the Mayor of Houston and approved by City Council oversees the lab. Since the third of April of this year, the lab has been managed by Houston Forensic Science Center, Inc., a separate legal entity. HFSC is responsible for overseeing and managing the independent forensic laboratory, which involves the previous functions for the police department as well as the independent forensic science tasks.

This expansion has earned the HFSC a new level of accreditation. Since 2005, the lab has been accredited by the Texas Department of Public Safety. This level of achievement is necessary for the lab’s work, evidence and findings to be admissible to courts across the state. However, now, according to an article recently completed by The Pasadena Citizen, the HFSC has been awarded accreditation under the ISO/IEC 17025 “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing Laboratories” standard.

To achieve this issue of accreditation, the laboratory demonstrated it met or exceeded global requirements in its management, technical and quality operations. Of the eight divisions of forensic science the lab currently operates under, only four were subject to the observations needed to receive the accreditation. The observed disciplines included Biology/DNA, Controlled Substances, Firearms and Toxicology.

Dan Garner, HFSC’s CEO and President, claimed that the mission of the lab has always been to collect, analyze and preserve evidence while adhering to the highest standards of quality, objectivity and ethics. The ISO 17025 accreditation declares that the lab is capable of doing just that.

from Luisa Florez Medical Examiner http://ift.tt/1uEa1jK

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