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June 3, 2016
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s new Trace Evidence Section has been accredited
by ANAB to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. In order to achieve this level of international
accreditation, the newly formed section had to write standard operating procedures,
validate instruments and demonstrate they could accurately and proficiently carry out
According to Texas law, the section must also be accredited by the Texas Forensic
Science Commission before it can do casework and testify to their findings in court.
That final step has also been completed.
HFSC’s Trace Evidence Section will focus initially on providing scientific fire analysis
that can assist in arson investigations. The corporation has identified a demand for this
service in the Houston community. Offering this service is also responsive to a report
issued by Michael Bromwich, who suggested a full service forensic laboratory must
offer trace evidence analysis.
Trace Evidence is the sixth HFSC discipline to achieve ISO accreditation. HFSC is
working toward achieving accreditation for all its section by the end of 2016.
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 eight forensic disciplines.
Jordan Benton


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