The City of Houston's Police Department (HPD) Crime Laboratory, in collaboration with working group partners, submitted the sexual assault kit (SAK) action-research proposal to the National Institute of Justice in January 2011. As the grant recipient, the HPD Crime Laboratory provided management oversight for the project and had been responsible for the budget expenditures and deliverables. Crime Laboratory Director Irma Rios had been the site coordinator and worked closely with project working group members to ensure that the project objectives were met. On April 3, 2014, HPD's crime lab became independent, breaking off from law enforcement and falling under the management of a newly created government entity, the Houston Forensic Science Center, Inc (HFSC). HFSC is headed by CEO and President Dr. Daniel Garner and a Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor of Houston and City Council. HFSC has taken over management of the grant and the completion of the sexual assault kit project. Rios, now the director of HFSC's Forensic Analysis Division, remains the coordinator. Rios has more than 29 years of experience working in and leading forensic laboratories. HFSC has a strong team of Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) administrators and dedicated grant and budget staff. Laboratory personnel possess strong competencies that have assisted in implementing the project. HFSC is also responsible for testing evidence in SAKs and sharing testing results with stakeholders for use in notifying victims, investigating crimes and prosecuting offenders. HFSC staff upload DNA profiles into CODIS and notify investigators and the District Attorney’s Office when a CODIS hit is made.
Crime Laboratory Director
Houston Forensic Science Center