AUSTIN (KXAN) - The man in charge of the AustinPolice Department's DNA lab is very proud of his facility.
"The Austin Police Department operates one of the finest, if notthe finest DNA laboratory in the country," said APD's Chief ofField Support Services Ed Harris.
Fully staffed the lab is home to four DNA analyst and onesupervisor. In 2008, the last numbers available, those fiveemployees analyzed 475 cases. Each one taking roughly 50 hours tocomplete.
"DNA is very important. It's very sensitive and you can't haveanyone out there questioning the credibility of any analystconducting DNA in this lab or any other lab in the country," saidHarris.
One DNA analyst who use to work in the lab, Cecily Hamilton, hasmade allegations questioning the training of another employee. Sheresigned her position earlier this year.
"Everyday in the public and private sector, in every disciplinein the country, you have disgruntled employees that makeallegations and that's what these are, they are allegations,"Harris said.
Allegations that he says are purely personal and have nothing todo with the quality of work being done at the lab.
"No where does she ever question any of the analyst work thathas been done on any case or any evidence that has come throughthis lab," said Harris.
Harris also said he has no problem allowing investigators insidehis lab for another review. In recent years, the Houston PoliceDepartment's crime lab faced a significant review of its practicesand procedures, with reports accusing lab staff of tailoringlab results to fit police theories.
"The DNA lab is the only unit that undergoes scrutiny by fourfive or six different independent agencies every year. We havenothing to hide and in fact we welcome another independentinvestigation," Harris said.
The Austin Police Department nor the Travis County DistrictAttorney could provide a cost estimate for the independentreview.
A private DNA company says they charge $2000 on average to lookover the paperwork of a single case.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …