HPD Hopes to Hire DNA Lab Manager Soon

The Houston Police Department says it hopes to hire a new manager for the crime lab's DNA section quickly after temporarily shutting it down last week. Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports.

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Department officials say they have a handful of possible candidates to fill the vacant position after the DNA section's manager resigned last week. An internal investigation revealed cheating on a proficiency test involving three lab employees. The two other workers have been suspended. Michael Bromwich spent several years as an outside investigator probing the crime lab's troubles and turned-in his final report last June.

"I am surprised and I am disappointed. It's been a very lengthy rebuilding project that that section has undertaken over the last couple of years. A lot of young analysts who have been trained and are eager to do the work that they were hired to do and now to find this come there must be extremely disappointing for them."ξξξ

HPD says the DNA section shut-down is only temporary and testing is being done by two outside companies until a new manager is hired. Bromwich says he hopes the latest trouble is isolated.

"I certainly think that closing the section even for a brief period of time brings back a lot of echoes and bad memories."

Because of accreditation requirements, the DNA section of the crime lab can't operate without a manager. HPD officials say they expect a new hire soon, but didn't have an exact timeline for the replacement.ξ


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