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September 4, 2014
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Public Information Officer
The Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) is proud to announce that it is the first forensic
science laboratory in Texas and one of only six in the country to complete federal requirements
to become a training facility for a national system administered by the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF.)
Three HFSC examiners are now able to provide training for other analysts to use the ATF’s
National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN, a nationwide system of ballistic
imaging devices designed to image and compare markings on fired cartridge cases. This allows
forensic scientists to identify if a firearm has been used in multiple crimes.
Since April 3, 2014, the laboratory formerly known as the Houston Police Department Crime
Lab has been managed by Houston Forensic Science Center, Inc., a separate legal entity. The
laboratory has long been a leader in the field of ballistic imaging. Since acquiring its first NIBIN
unit in 1999, the lab’s forensic scientists have linked more than 3,000 firearm crimes across
multiple law enforcement jurisdictions, often partnering with local law enforcement agencies.
The most recent federal training and approval will allow the HFSC to offer NIBIN training to
other crime labs or law enforcement agencies interested in utilizing the system.
“This elite training places the newly independent Houston Forensic Science Center in a unique
position regionally and statewide,” said HFSC CEO and President Dan Garner. “As the HFSC
moves toward its goals of offering services to other agencies, our forensic scientists will be
encouraged and pushed to achieve the highest-level training and aptitude in their fields. This is
the first step.”
The Houston Forensic Science Center oversees and manages the independent forensic laboratory
that includes what was previously the Houston Police Department’s Crime Laboratory, Crime
Scene Unit and parts of the Identification Division. The HFSC currently operates in eight
forensic disciplines and is expanding.
Further information regarding the HFSC is available at