Talk about a money drain. From Chron.com:
The Houston Police Department is asking City Council to approve $1.25 million to hire outside scientists to review all tests done by the recently reopened DNA crime lab.
Limited DNA testing resumed at the crime lab in July, but the department still outsources the majority of tests to a Dallas firm.
The two consultants, Dr. Charlotte J. Word and Dr. Robin W. Cotton, would review every case involving DNA testing and check the processes and conclusions reached by HPD’s in-house laboratory, according to Dr. Laura Gahn, the DNA lab’s technical director.
The hiring of independent, outside consultants was a recommendation of the multi-year, $5.3 million probe of HPD’s troubled crime lab, completed in 2007.
“Now, you have an extra level of oversight from outside, giving the public an extra level of confidence,” Gahn said.
Right. An “extra level of confidence.” The problem is, HPD’s crime lab inspires little confidence, let alone “extra.”
So, there goes another million down the drain. You may recall that, back in February, Crime Lab Director Irma Rios was interviewed by KHOU-11’s Jeremy Desel, when she said that the those in the crime lab were “being good stewards of the public’s money.” And then she commented that cost was not a problem, which is evidenced by this multi-year fiasco. The only time money has been a problem was when the city didn’t want to continue funding the Bromwich crime lab investigation. Now, after fighting that report, HPD wants to spend a million implementing one of its recommendations.
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