Wednesday, December 16, 2009

City to spend $3 million to study police fingerprint unit

Updating a post from earlier this month about problems with the Houston Police Department's fingerprint unit, Houston City Council has approved $3 million (out of a request for $4 million) to pay consultants to review some 5,000 violent crime cases that have already been reviewed once. After that there are thousands of other cases involving violent and property crimes to be reviewed. Outside consultants have been running the fingerprint unit since the results of the audit conducted this fall were released.

While HPD was thrilled to be showered with taxpayer dollars, one city councilman was a bit more concerned about the situation.

Said Peter Brown: "If something is going wrong here, what else is going wrong in the Houston Police Department?"

I concur with Mr. Brown. Maybe now is the time to explore the creation of a regional forensic lab that is not under the control of law enforcement.

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