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November 13, 2108
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s Crime Scene Unit has been awarded
international accreditation for the first time, helping to ensure objective, scientific
investigation at homicides, officer-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents.
CSU has met the ISO 17025 standards and is the last of HFSC’s seven disciplines to be
awarded that four-year accreditation. The assessment team found no issues to correct
during its review of CSU.
All HFSC disciplines are fully reassessed every four years. The remaining disciplines
have also been reaccredited.
“Having an accredited, civilian Crime Scene Unit in Houston is an enormous
achievement that helps improve the justice system as a whole,” said Jerry Pena, director
of HFSC’s Crime Scene Unit and Multimedia Forensic Evidence.
“Scientific, objective evidence collection and investigation at crime scenes is crucial for
evidence preservation and for helping to ensure subsequent forensic analysis is of good
quality,” Pena added.
HFSC’s CSU responds to all homicides and officer-involved shootings in the City of
Houston. The unit also assists at some sexual assault scenes and high-profile aggravated
“These folks are out there day and night, in the heat and the cold, seeing the results of
some of Houston’s most harrowing crimes,” said Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC’s CEO and
“Achieving accreditation is a testament to the quality work they do daily. Accreditation
is one of many tools that we have in place to help ensure the high standards to which
we hold our staff,” he added.
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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