DPS Labs adopt new national science standards

Published 12:57 am Saturday, November 6, 2021

To The Leader

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is proud to announce that its Crime Laboratory Division laboratories have been recognized for voluntarily adopting national forensic standards published by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC), created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The DPS laboratories have been recognized by NIST as OSAC Implementers.

DPS labs voluntarily underwent the process to ensure the state’s labs are held to the highest national forensic standards. The adoption of these standards provides an additional measure of confidence in the work the labs perform.

To adopt published standards, DPS incorporated best practices and standard protocols into its own management and quality system, following the leading industry applications in fields including biology/DNA, digital evidence, fire debris, firearms and toolmarks, footwear and tire impressions, gunshot residue analysis, trace evidence, toxicology and seized drugs.

DPS now holds 14 of the 62 certificates OSAC has issued to laboratories in the United States for implementing its standards. The OSAC standards are developed by more than 500 members of the forensic community to provide minimum requirements to ensure the results of forensic analysis can be relied upon by the criminal justice community.

DPS has been reviewing published forensic standards since 2020 to evaluate compliance and has actively updated policies and practices to align with them. New standards continue to be published to the OSAC registry on a regular basis and are reviewed by the DPS labs.

DPS’ Crime Laboratory Division currently employs 621 people at 16 locations statewide.