Houston Forensic Science Center To Align With Standards Approved By National Lead Agency

There will be adjustments in the work of the forensic biology/DNA and seized drugs sections.

The adoption of the standards approved by the OSAC will mean adjustments in the work of the HFSC's sections of forensic biology/DNA and seized drugs.

The board of directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) authorized Friday adopting internal protocols and standards that will align with standards approved by the national lead agency in the forensic science field.

The agency in question is the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) and it's administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The adoption of the standards will mean adjustments in the work of the HFSC's sections of forensic biology/DNA and seized drugs, which analyzes substances to determine whether they are illegal drugs.

Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC's CEO and president, said the center has changed policies and procedures since its inception in 2014 and adopting the standards "is the logical next step."

He also noted that HFSC staff have participated in OSAC committee discussions and meetings, as well as in sessions about the development of standards.

In November, the international organization of standardization ISO awarded international accreditation for the first time to the HFSC's Crime Scene Unit (CSU). The CSU is involved in the investigation of homicides, officer-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents, such as sexual and aggravated assaults, that happen in Houston.

In addition to the crime scene discipline, the HFSC operates in six forensic disciplines: forensic biology; firearms; toxicology, seized drugs, latent prints, and digital and multimedia. Those six disciplines had already achieved international accreditation from the ISO.

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