Fort Worth Police Department Forensic Science

In October 1960, the Fort Worth Police Department received a $50,000 grant from the local Safety Council to establish a crime laboratory. Over the years, the Fort Worth Police Department Crime Laboratory has been housed in four separate locations. In early 1961 the Crime Laboratory opened its first location on the 2nd floor of 1030 Burnett Street. The 2nd floor of the Burnett Street location had previously been the dispatch center for a local cab company. In 1966, the Crime Lab moved from Burnett Street to an underground facility located beneath 10th Street. The 10th Street facility was located between the new and old City Hall buildings. In 1985, the Lab moved to the new Police Headquarters facility at 350 West Belknap Street. Finally, the Crime Lab moved to its current location at 3616 East Lancaster Avenue on June 14, 2010.

The Crime Laboratory operates under the authority of the Fort Worth Police Department’s Investigative & Support Command, which is within the Support Bureau. The Crime Laboratory has approximately 30 full time employees. The Forensic Science Division Manager (Crime Laboratory Director) has the overall responsibility for the administrative, operational and quality management of the Crime Laboratory. The Forensic Science Division Manager relies on the Laboratory’s Management Team for assistance with Laboratory operations and oversight. The Laboratory’s Management Team consists of the Assistant Forensic Science Division Manager, Quality Assurance Coordinator (Quality Manager), the Forensic Supervisors of the Biology Unit, Chemistry Unit and the Firearms & Toolmark Unit, the Latent Print Unit Supervisor, and the Crime Laboratory Contact. The Laboratory employees Forensic Scientists (levels I – IV), Latent Print Examiners, a Latent Print Technician, a Firearms Technician, Property Control Specialists, and an Administrative Technician.

The organizational structure of the Crime Laboratory is comprised of six different units: Administrative Unit, Biology Unit, Chemistry Unit, Evidence Handling & Photography Unit, Firearm & Toolmark Unit and the Latent Print Unit.

The Fort Worth Police Crime Laboratory is accredited by the Texas Forensic Science Commission and the American National Standards Institute National Accreditation Board (ANAB). Our current Scope of Accreditation includes the following categories of testing, Biology: DNA Profile Determination, Individual Characteristic Database, Physical Comparison, and Qualitative Determination: Firearms and Toolmarks: Function Evaluation, Individual Characteristic Database, Physical Comparison, Qualitative Determination, and Serial Number Restoration; Friction Ridge: Enhancement, Individual Characteristic Database, and Physical Comparison; Seized Drugs: Qualitative Determination, Quantitative Measurement, and Weight Measurement; Toxicology: Qualitative Determination (Volatiles) and Quantitative Measurement (Volatiles).

Did You Know?

The Fort Worth Police Department has achieved "Recognized" status from the Texas Police Chief's Association Recognition Program. The practices cover various aspects of law enforcement: use of force, protection of citizen rights, pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.

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