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June 26, 2017
Thirteen trainees began Monday a 400-hour CSI Academy being held by the Houston
Forensic Science Center. Those who successfully complete the academy will become
crime scene investigators in HFSC’s Crime Scene Unit.
The academy combines classroom and field training to teach crime scene investigators
scientific protocols for the proper processing, preservation and collection of physical
evidence. As part of the training, Dr. Itiel Dror, a prominent expert on cognitive bias in
the forensic sciences, will conduct a two-day workshop. Anthony Graves, a member of
HFSC’s Board of Directors who spent more than a decade on death row for a crime he
didn’t commit, will share his story with the group. Representatives from the Harris
County District Attorney’s Office, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, the
Houston Police Department’s Homicide and Special Investigation Unit, the Harris
County Public Defender’s Office and the Organization of Scientific Area Committees
will also present at the academy.
The trainees will also receive instruction in courtroom testimony and spend time
working mock crime scenes in HFSC’s training facility.
The academy is part of HFSC’s transition to a fully civilian Crime Scene Unit by year’s
“Evidence collection is the start of the forensic process, and HFSC is committed to
ensuring it is done according to proper scientific protocols,” said Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC’s
CEO and president. “This helps ensure all analysis done on that evidence is credible and
best serves the justice system.”
The media will be invited to view portions of the training when the CSI Academy
begins hands-on activities. Details of that availability will be provided closer to the date.
HFSC is a local government corporation that provides forensic services to the City of
Houston and other local agencies. HFSC is overseen by a Board of Directors appointed
by the Mayor of Houston and confirmed by the Houston City Council. Its management
structure is designed to be responsive to a 2009 recommendation by the National
Academy of Sciences that called for crime laboratories to be independent of law
enforcement and prosecutorial branches of government.
HFSC operates in seven forensic disciplines.
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Director of Communications/PIO


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