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November 16, 2015
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s Latent Print Section has been awarded on
Monday the ANAB ISO/IEC 17025 international accreditation. To achieve this level of
accreditation, HFSC’s Latent Print Section had to demonstrate that it met or exceeded
global requirements in management, technical and quality operations.
“My team of examiners has worked long and hard to reach this milestone,” said
Timothy Schmahl, manager of HFSC’s Latent Print Section.
HFSC’s Latent Print Section was created in its current form about 18 months ago, when
the Center ended a contract with an external company. That company had been doing
nearly all of HPD’s latent print work. Instead, HFSC hired a team of experienced
examiners certified by the International Association for Identification (IAI).
Although the state and the federal government do not require latent print operations to
be accredited, HFSC and its Board of Directors chose to take this route as part of a
commitment to quality forensic work.
“This is truly a moment of great pride for the Center, our Latent Print team and our
Quality Division,” said Lori Wilson, HFSC’s Quality Division Director.
Wilson’s division has been instrumental in guiding the Latent Print Section through the
accreditation process, ensuring its written procedures and technical processes are of the
highest quality.
The Houston Forensic Science Center operates in four disciplines required by Texas law
to be accredited: DNA/Forensic Biology, Toxicology, Controlled Substances and
Firearms. It is also working to achieve accreditation for four other forensic fields.
“This brings HFSC a step closer to its goal of having all disciplines fully accredited at
the highest standard,” said HFSC CEO and President Dr. Daniel Garner.
HFSC is an independent, nonprofit, local government corporation created by the City of
Houston to manage and oversee forensic services. HFSC took over management in
April 2014 of what had previously been HPD’s Crime Laboratory, Crime Scene Unit
and parts of its Identification Division. HFSC currently operates in nine disciplines and
is expanding.
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Public Information Officer


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