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February 11, 2016
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s 14 latent print examiners are now all fully
certified by the International Association for Identification (IAI). The IAI, one of the
oldest forensic professional organizations, is also the only one to certify latent print
examiners. To become certified, the examiners must have at least two years of
professional experience in the forensic discipline and pass a rigorous, timed, three-part
“Having all our examiners certified by the IAI helps increase the quality and standard
of the work we do,” said Timothy Schmahl, manager of HFSC’s Latent Print Section. “It
is a hefty task to pass the IAI’s certification exam and a crowning achievement in an
examiner’s career. Having all of our examiners pass the IAI’s exam is an example of
HFSC’s high standards and of our examiners’ dedication and professionalism.”
HFSC is one of the largest forensic institutions in Texas to have all its latent print
examiners certified. The Center’s Latent Print Section also recently became accredited to
international standards, making it one of the few in the country to achieve ISO 17025
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 currently operates in nine forensic disciplines.
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Public Information Officer


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