Crime Lab Moves Closer to DNA Testing

The Houston Police Crime Lab has a new DNA Technical Leader. Rod Rice reports her mission is to resume DNA testing as soon as possible.

“I’m in the process of evaluating all the processes and procedures that are already in place. The staffing already in place, all their qualifications and training as well.”

Before joining HPD last month Laura Gahn worked in private labs, including Identigene here in Houston. She says right now she and the crime lab staff are getting to know one another.

“And also doing, what we call competency exams, where they’re actually doing practice samples so I can actually see their work product.”

DNA work was stopped in 2002 and then again in January at the troubled lab. Until Gahn’s hiring the lab had no DNA supervisor, a position required by state law. Gahn says there is no time table for resuming DNA testing.

“I don’t want to put any timeframes on it because the deadline should not be what makes the decision. As soon as I can be 100% confident in the work product, that’s when the work will start again.”