|Vol. 21, No. 8||May 1, 1999|
Forensic Center Awarded Accreditation
In September 1998 the Joseph A. Jachimczyk Forensic Center Laboratory underwent a site inspection by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD). The accreditation survey is relatively rare because few forensic laboratories in the U.S. could pass the rigid inspection.
"I thought then that it would take four or five years for us to receive this accreditation," says Dr. Joye M. Carter, chief medical examiner of Harris County. "But we scored 97 percent on our first try. That's a real tribute to this staff. They worked very hard to gain this recognition."
To celebrate the accreditation, Dr. Carter and her staff at the Center hosted a reception on April 15.
Dr. Carter addressed the assembled guests briefly before they departed on tours of the six-story facility. "This accreditation represents the very highest kind of peer review. Importantly, it guarantees law enforcement agencies that we are consistently performing laboratory work that is of the highest quality, done correctly."
The mission of the forensic center laboratory is to provide scientific analysis and/or evaluation of evidence collected during criminal investigations. The laboratory of the forensic center is divided into six sections: toxicology, serology/DNA, controlled substance, forensic urine drug testing, histology and trace evidence. It is a very busy laboratory - the forensic urine drug testing section alone processes between 500-900 cases daily.
- ROGER WIDMEYER
©2006 Texas Medical Center