The greater Houston region now has a sophisticated asset to investigate and solve crimes with the official opening of the new Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (HCIFS).
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and other dignitaries, including Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new facility on Thursday March 16th.
The Institute is located in the Texas Medical Center and it is an impressive state of the art nine story building.
Funded by a bond that was approved by the voters back in 2007, Harris County has invested 75 million dollars in it.
The facility serves both as a crime lab and as the medical examiner’s office.
Among other tasks, its staff will perform autopsies for cases investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and the Houston Police Department (HPD).
Doctor Dwayne Wolf, deputy chief medical examiner at the HCIFS, explains that “about 11,000 deaths are reported to our office every year, of which we bring in 5,000 bodies for examination, either for autopsy or external examination.”
Construction of this facility was approved to begin in June of 2014, with an expected timeline of three years, so this was on schedule. I expect great things.