The Austin City Council on Thursday approved a plan that would turn over APD’s shuttered DNA lab to the Department of Public Safety.
According to KVUE's partners at the Austin American-Statesman, city council members voted to authorize city staff to negotiate a contract with DPS. The contract, which would not exceed $4 million over five years, would allow the agency to oversee the day-to-day operation of the lab.
APD's DNA lab closed in June 2016 when a state audit found employees were not analyzing DNA evidence correctly. The department still has approximately 2,500 cases waiting for DNA testing, many of those rape kits. KVUE previously reported that – if approved by the city council – the goal is to clear the backlog by April 2018.
APD Assistant Police Chief Troy Gay previously told KVUE and the Statesman the lab would employ about nine people, some of whom may already work for the state.