ABOVE: Congressman Green (center) with Luis Arturo Sanchez, M.D. and Commissioner Rodney Ellis
U.S. Congressman Al Green (TX-09) recently presented a symbolic check for $12,164,000 for the federal funding Harris County will be receiving to renovate, expand, and improve the existing Institute of Forensic Sciences (IFS) building.
“I am proud to secure federal funding for the vital expansion of the Institute of Forensics Sciences building in Harris County,” Congressman Al Green stated. “By addressing challenges in facility operations and advancements, we prioritize public safety and the evolving needs of the growing Houston community.”
The check presentation took place at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, located at 1861 Old Spanish Trail, on December 18th. These funds will benefit the rapidly growing Harris County population by consolidating the medical examiner and crime laboratory services.
“The Institute of Forensic Sciences’ dedicated employees provide the highest quality medical examinations and crime lab analysis,” Commissioner Rodney Ellis shared. “This $20 million long-term investment is part of a comprehensive strategy to make Harris County safer and healthier and our justice system fairer for all involved—from victims to those incarcerated and waiting on their day in court. We’re giving these public servants more tools to increase their bandwidth through this investment in facility upgrades — $12 million of which comes from a federal grant, thanks to Congressman Green.”
These federal dollars are essential for the future growth of the Institute of Forensic Sciences. The critical need for expansion arises from funeral home backlogs, requiring prolonged preservation of deceased persons. This funding will help improve services, aid with facility expansion, and upgrade DNA systems related to evidence intake and firearms identification.
“It is a tremendous honor for IFS to be the recipient, along with the county Department of Engineering, of this generous $12 million federal grant to relocate and expand our Forensic Genetics Laboratory,” stated Dr. Luis Arturo Sanchez. “The IFS DNA laboratory is one of the busiest, not only in the state, but in the county, analyzing more than 2,000 cases a year. The new grant will enable IFS to increase our testing capacity, expand forensic services, and allow us to continue to provide timely information to law enforcement agencies and the courts. On behalf of the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, I want to convey my sincere gratitude to Congressman Al Green for selecting and endorsing our proposal and ushering our grant through Congressional approval.”