HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO CRIME LAB REPORT!

CAN THE CREDIBILITY BE RESTORED?

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and managers in the Houston Police Crime Lab welcome the Final Report of the Independent Investigator. The report provides a critical review of the HPD Crime Lab, both past and present. “We recognize the tremendous effort that took place over the past two and a half years by all members of the Investigative Team and sincerely appreciate their hard work,” said Chief Hurtt, who commissioned the independent review.

The report details the historical problems associated with the lab and highlights the Crime Lab of today by stating, “the Crime Lab underwent significant advances and made significant progress in shedding its troubled past.” We are pleased with the recognition that the Crime Lab of today is professional, dedicated to excellence, procedurally and scientifically sound, and recognized as a nationally accredited lab. As the report clearly shows, the department pursued these substantial and meaningful changes simultaneously with the investigation.

We are acting on the Independent Investigator’s recommendations and working with the District Attorney’s Office in reviewing cases where serological testing was performed between 1980-1992 and connected with a defendant currently in prison. “It is our intention to review all of the recommendations and to act on the areas of concern raised in the report,” said Chief Hurtt.

HPD is doing the following:
· Providing a list of information to the District Attorney’s Office regarding cases wherein serological testing may have been an issue for years between 1980 and 1992.
· Assisting the District Attorney’s Office so that prisoners may be notified that the independent investigation has identified a potential issue with the forensic serology work performed by former staff members of the Crime Lab.
· Reviewing and/or implementing the other recommendations not already addressed in current operations.

We value outside review and agree with the report’s conclusion that, under its current leadership, the Crime Lab has steadily moved in the right direction over the past three and half years. The Houston Police Department is committed to having a first rate Crime Lab that performs competently and is of the highest integrity.