The laboratory will ease the backlog of criminal cases in Texas by serving the basic needs of nearly 100 state and local agencies in 10 counties in Southeast Texas. The lab, staffed by 10 employees, is expected to handle up to 5,000 cases annually.Notably, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee recently recommended that the Department of Public Safety begin charging for crime lab services. Currently smaller jurisdictions get those services for free from DPS while larger communities pay for them out of local tax coffers. If DPS does make that shift, I'd expect this new crime lab to thrive.
The regional crime lab will offer fee-based services to attorneys, medical examiner’s offices, law enforcement agencies, the public and other laboratories and organizations. Examiners at the lab will test for controlled substances in seized drugs and provide toxicology testing in biological specimens for alcohol and illicit, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs.
“The laboratory is part of the comprehensive criminal justice program at Sam Houston State University,” said Dr. Vincent Webb, Dean of the SHSU College of Criminal Justice and Director of the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center. The Criminal Justice Center also houses professional and research institutes, including the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility and the Crime Victims’ Institute.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
SHSU opens new crime lab
Sam Houston State University just opened a new, regional pay-per-service crime lab in the Woodlands, reports KBTX.com: