The Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory started as a one-chemist operation established in 1937 at Austin's Camp Mabry. Since then, it has developed into a comprehensive forensic laboratory system with labs at 16 different locations across the state of Texas.
Standard areas of analysis include:
These services are provided at various laboratory locations around the state which are strategically located for optimal access and support to the criminal justice community.
Our support of investigative capabilities are further enhanced by the integration and exchange of local, state, regional, and national information via individualizing databases, including the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
The Crime Laboratory also includes the Breath Alcohol Laboratory (BAL) and its Office of the Scientific Director (OSD). The BAL and OSD are legislatively charged with administering a statewide judicially acceptable forensic breath alcohol test program for the Crime Laboratory and for programs operating outside of the DPS Crime Laboratory System.
Click below for a look inside our full-service Crime Laboratory located in Austin, Texas.
Strategic Goals and Objectives
Strategic goals and objectives of the Laboratory include, but are not limited to:
The Crime Laboratory Service is comprised of approximately 660 personnel. New Crime Lab employees are provided intensive training before being approved to examine evidence. The length of initial training depends on the forensic scientist's areas of analysis. Some areas of analysis, such as seized drugs, may take approximately twelve months, while other areas, such as firearms or forensic document examinations, may take up to 24 months. Forensic scientists assist law enforcement agencies with crime scene investigations, provide training to criminal justice system, analyze physical evidence in criminal cases, and present results of analyses through courtroom testimony.