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Mayor Gray Celebrates Accomplishments, Anniversary of Dept. of Forensic Sciences, Consolidated Forensic Lab

Thursday, October 3, 2013
Case backlogs have been greatly reduced; new services are in the works

(Washington, D.C.) Mayor Vincent C. Gray led a celebration today of the one-year anniversary of the District’s Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) and the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL), a state-of-the-art agency and facility serving the needs of the city and its residents.

In just one year of existence, the department’s Public Health Laboratory has been certified and the Forensic Science Lab has been recommended for accreditation, a process that often takes up to two years.

Remember that just a few years ago, the District was sending some of its evidence off to the FBI for analysis,” said Mayor Gray. “Now the FBI is among the dozens of law-enforcement agencies and more than 20 nations that have sent delegations here to learn about the CFL’s LEED-Platinum-certified building, DFS’s ground-breaking policies, and its novel approach to independent science.

The reason?

It starts with DFS Director Max Houck, who literally has written the book on forensic science,” Mayor Gray said. “And he has assembled here a diverse, internationally-recognized staff with decades of service in their various fields.

Among the major accomplishments at DFS: Since its opening, the Forensic Science Laboratory has reduced its backlog of active D.C. cases by nearly 60 percent in DNA and more than 70 percent in firearms and fingerprints. Further, new services are being developed such as digital evidence and materials analysis, as well as the potential for newborn screening, which will provide the department’s stakeholders with cutting-edge services.

“This has been a remarkable year for the Department of Forensic Sciences and the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory, one that has seen many ‘firsts,’” Director Houck said.

“I work here with some of the finest people I have known. We have shown that the District has been – and remains -- a leader in justice, safety, health, and public service.

“I cannot wait to get started on our second year,” Houck said.