State to oversee APD DNA lab when it reopens

FILE - Blood samples being tested at APD's DNA lab. (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Blood samples being tested at APD's DNA lab. (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After closing down last summer the Austin Police Department’s DNA lab is set to reopen with some major changes.

Assistant Chief Troy Gay said a proposed deal would see the state oversee day-to-day operations.

The Department of Public Safety Capital Area Regional Lab will receive $800 thousand a year from the city of Austin.

APD would have no oversight or management of the lab.

City Council is set to take up the deal next week.

The lab was shut down last June when the Texas Forensic Science Commission discovered staff were using outdated methods and didn’t have enough training.

The audit called into question the credibility of DNA results from close to 4,000 cases.

Since then, APD has been shipping out evidence to DPS and private labs to help. Despite this, the department has more than 2,500 cases backlogged due to this. The majority of those are sexual assault investigations.

Police say the backlog should be completed by April of next year, if all goes to plan. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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