Department unveils crime lab to keep up with technology

William James Gerlich

The Texas Department of Public Safety performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new crime lab Tuesday. The new facility will allow the department to expand and keep up with technological advances, speakers said.

With a staff of 106 forensic scientists working in a variety of departments, the building allows for developments in the growing field of forensic DNA testing and digital multimedia analysis.

The new four-story, $25.5 million laboratory is double the size, and houses the most advanced technology in forensic science.

DPS director Steve McCraw said that the facility will be an investment for public safety for many years to come, and the lab is expected to evaluate not only crime evidence from the Austin metropolitan area, but also 30 surrounding counties across Texas.

“We’ve had difficulty keeping up with the demands regarding DNA, and part of that was because we didn’t have the facilities to do it,” McCraw said.