The Austin Police Department has suspended operations at its DNA crime lab. Hundreds of samples for criminal cases will have to be sent elsewhere for testing.
According to Chief Art Acevedo, the suspension is a temporary and proactive measure. However, the Texas Forensic Science Commission has also raised additional concerns about how the crime lab operates.
This comes after the former lead scientist for the department's crime lab died from cancer.
"Our team will be subjected to additional training certification, our processes will be shifted to recertification and continue the audit process," says Chief Acevedo. "We are going to triage our outstanding cases especially our violent crime cases to ensure that we don't unduly delay those cases. We will be using DPS who is a great partner and continues to be a great partner.. to send those more critical cases to them and private labs."
The lab is expected to be closed for up to six months.
APD is also looking to hire a new scientist to head that portion of the department.