HPD Crime Lab Receives National Accreditation
|May 18, 2005 -- American Society of Crime
Lab Directors (ASCLD) Executive Director Ralph Keaton presented
HPD Chief of Police Harold L. Hurtt with Certificate of Accreditation
for HPD Crime Lab.
||Chief Hurtt, Crime Lab Director Irma Rios, Executive Assistant
Chief Martha Montalvo, and HPD Crime Lab employees pose at
Houston City Council chambers with Certificate of Accreditation.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
May 11, 2005 -- The Houston
Police Department Crime Lab has received national accreditation
in its operating areas and has cleared a major hurdle in the ultimate
goal of gaining the confidence of our community and the criminal
In a decision reached Tuesday (May 10), the American
Society of Crime Lab Directors-Laboratory Association Board (ASCLD)
notified HPD Crime Lab Director Irma Rios that the lab met or
exceeded all standards for accreditation in the following areas:
- Biology (exclusive of DNA)
- Controlled substances
- Questioned documents
Rios said it is hoped that accreditation can
be earned in the lab's DNA section by the end of 2005. The DNA
section has been closed since December of 2002. "Without
question, we still have a lot of work to do in terms of getting
this lab back up and running to its capacity," said Rios.
"There is no doubt this national accreditation seal of approval
means a lot to the people who have been working tirelessly to
regain the public's trust in the work we do," she said.
ASCLD inspectors began visits to the lab in September
2004 and in a February 2005 inspection told lab officials they
could receive accreditation with a few adjustments to the way
employees handled chain of custody signatures. That process was
adhered to and completed during a 90-day compliance period that
ended Tuesday (May 10).
The accreditation news was well received by HPD
Police Chief Harold Hurtt. "I am very proud of the job our
employees have done in gaining this noteworthy achievement,"
said Chief Hurtt. "It is a testimony to our organization's
dedication to making this the best crime lab in the country and
a lab others will want to emulate."
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.