February 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s Digital and Multimedia Evidence Section has
eliminated a longstanding backlog and is now completing nearly all requests in less
than 30 days.
“HFSC’s Digital and Multimedia Evidence Section has been working toward this
milestone for more than a year, and we are especially proud of this achievement
because at the same time they were tackling the backlog they also met the requirements
for international accreditation,” said Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC’s CEO and president.
“However, we are not yet satisfied. While evidence in these areas is now being
processed in less than 30 days, we know investigators often need the information within
hours and we will work to achieve that goal,” Stout said.
The Digital and Multimedia Evidence Section analyzes audio and video, as well as
cellphones, laptops and other digital devices. The information found in these electronics
can at times be crucial at the start of an investigation.
At the moment, audio/video work is being completed on average within 16 days.
Digital analysis is being done on average within 24 days. A year ago that work took on
average more than 110 days to complete.
At times, HFSC sends an analyst to a crime scene to assist officers with onsite data
retrieval, however, a full analysis often requires additional work that can only be done
with HFSC lab equipment.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide investigators with quick, accurate, impartial scientific
analysis that can be used to help solve a crime,” said Ryan Johnson, manager of the
Digital and Multimedia Evidence Section. “We will continue to work with our
stakeholders to ensure their needs are met.”
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 operates in eight forensic disciplines.
Director of Communications/PIO
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February 1, 2017