AUSTIN (KXAN) — With a slimmer budget, the Texas Department of Public Safety says its crime lab will now have to charge local agencies for various testing services.
Last biennium, the DPS crime lab was appropriated approximately $74.7 million. During this year’s legislative session, the department’s crime lab budget was set at $63 million for FY 2018-19. To make up for the $11.5 million budget shortfall, the agency will charge law enforcement agencies for using certain services starting Sept. 1.
In a letter to local law enforcement agencies, DPS Director Steven McCraw said the agency’s goal is to “develop a model that will minimize the cost for forensic analysis while generating enough revenue to fund the continued operation of the laboratory system as directed.”
DPS will charge for the following:
- Alcohol analysis: $75 per sample (blood/urine samples)
- Controlled Substances: $75 per sample analyzed; Quantitation will be $150 per sample (determining what the substance is)
- DNA: $550 per case
- Toxicology analysis: $150 per sample
Agencies from all over Texas send samples to the DPS crime lab for testing. Last year, the Austin Police Department had DPS testing at least 20 samples every month due to its DNA lab closing.