"Is it possible to rein all of this in?" Local 2 investigator Robert Arnold asked Rios.
"It's going to take people. They have to be trained and we have to have the equipment," Rios answered.
Rios said the lab is in the process of hiring 10 new scientists, has spent $750,000 to upgrade its Lab Information Management System and is working with Sam Houston State University to get a handle on what exactly is contained in the more than 11,000 sexual assault kits not stored in the department's freezer. Rios also said she is aiming for a 30-day turnaround time on requests for testing.
"Quite frankly I'm sick of all the whining," said Councilmember Jolonda Jones.
Jones is a criminal defense attorney who was one of the first to expose the bad science at the crime lab in 2002. Since then, Jones said taxpayers have spent millions of dollars to help the crime lab out of its troubles, yet problems persist.
"I am certain I wouldn't be authorizing throwing more money into a system that doesn't work," said Jones. "It's like a money pit."
Jones has been a vocal proponent of the city helping create a regional crime lab where the workload and financial burden would be shared by all law enforcement agencies in our area. Parker agrees.
"My No. 1 goal is to get an independent crime lab for the region,' said Parker.
Parker said she is in active negotiations with the county to get a regional lab, but there's no timeframe as to when this may happen. For those waiting on justice, these are problems that can't get fixed fast enough.
"It's absolutely, psychologically essential for the woman to know that's there's something there that says I'm not a liar," said the woman.