Katie White Appointed to Texas Forensic Science Commission
In 2015, the Texas state legislature authorized the Texas Forensic Science Commission to establish licensing programs for forensic disciplines. Subsequently, this commission mandated that forensic analysts conducting analyses for the Texas judicial system will be required to be licensed by 2019.
The governor of Texas appointed nine members (seven scientists and two attorneys) to the commission’s Licensing Advisory Committee. Microtrace microscopist Katie White is one of the scientists recently appointed to this committee. In this role, she will help formulate Texas’s guidelines and licensing standards for scientists, in order to improve the quality of forensic analyses conducted for use in the state’s judicial system.
Texas Forensic Science Commission
In May 2005, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Forensic Science Commission. The Commission was originally created to investigate allegations of professional negligence or professional misconduct that would substantially affect the integrity of the results of a forensic analysis conducted by an accredited laboratory. The Legislature also required the Commission to develop and implement a reporting system through which accredited laboratories may report professional negligence or misconduct.
In June 2015, the Legislature expanded the scope of the Commission’s responsibilities by transferring Texas’ Crime Laboratory Accreditation Program oversight from the Texas Department of Public Safety to the Texas Forensic Science Commission. In response to the legislation, the Commission established an accreditation process for crime laboratories and other entities conducting forensic analyses for use in criminal proceedings. As part of its accreditation mandate, the Commission became responsible for establishing procedures, policies, and practices to improve the quality of forensic analyses conducted in Texas. The state legislature also required the Commission to establish licensing programs for forensic disciplines in Texas.
The Commission has nine members, all appointed by the Governor of Texas.
The Commission is also actively engaged in various forensic development initiatives, and works collaboratively with stakeholders in the criminal justice system to improve education and training in forensic science and the law.