One way or another, Mayor Parker says we will have a new crime lab in 2012.
After years of scandal, the police department will no longer run Houston’s crime lab, Mayor Annise Parker said Wednesday.
The promise is among the initiatives she will elaborate on next week during her inauguration speech. Parker was reelected in November and will begin her second term in January.
But during an interview Wednesday with KHOU 11 News, Parker stressed that the city would have an “independent” crime lab by the end of 2012.
Currently, the lab is downtown at police headquarters in the 1200 block of Travis. The mayor is still deciding where the new one would be located and how much it would cost.
“This is not at all an effort to save money,” Parker said. “This is about an effort to achieve objective justice. And when you consider that longstanding problems in the crime lab have cost the City of Houston millions and millions of dollars to fix, this is not something where we can cheap out.”
There’s long been talk of a regional crime lab – an option Parker said she preferred—but the city and the county haven’t agreed on how to pay for it.
See here for some background on where the city/county partnership stands. That option certainly seems like the most sensible one, but as long as there are people like Steve Radack out there making life difficult, it can’t be a bad idea to explore other possibilities. We’ll see what the Mayor has to say about this in her inauguration speech tomorrow; I’ll have a copy of that to add afterward.