HOUSTON – The Houston Police Officers Union made a call for change of leadership at the city’s crime lab on Wednesday.
“I am calling for the resignation and/or termination of Dr. Peter Stout of the Forensic Science Center,” said HPOU President Doug Griffith.
The union faults the Houston Forensic Science Center’s President and CEO over long delays in forensic testing exposed by KPRC 2 Investigates last week. After examining the numbers, we uncovered wait times for forensic testing on the backlog of sexual assault kits and firearms growing by months. Moreover, Dr. Stout informed us `any new requests for firearms testing unable to be addressed until March of 2025.′
“That’s unacceptable, the people of this city deserves better than that,” said Griffith during a news conference with union leadership.
Stout did acknowledges problems to us last Thursday and revealed it’s not going away anytime soon, “It’s a serious issue for us and it’s going to continue to be a serious issue,” said Stout.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has seen positive results from his One Safe Houston crime fighting initiative, revealed to KPRC 2 Investigates Stout’s performance is being looked into.
“Now we have to make sure that it is properly managed and so that is under review,” said Mayor Turner.
Mayor Turner also made it clear that law and order has several components, but if there are problems then they need to be tackled.
“Let’s look at the total ecosystem and where there are deficiencies, let’s address them. If there are management issues let’s address them,” said Mayor Turner.
KPRC 2 Investigates did reach out to Dr. Stout for his reaction in response to the comments made by HPOU and the mayor. Dr. Stacey Mitchell, Board Chair of the Houston Forensic Science Center, responded with this statement:
HFSC was recently informed of statements by members of the Houston Police Officers’ Union calling for the resignation of HFSC’s President and CEO, Dr. Peter Stout.
We understand the concerns raised this afternoon and will continue working to provide reliable and timely forensic services to the City of Houston. In response to ongoing challenges in staff turnover and increasing requests for services, HFSC has outsourced casework (where available), made process improvements, and solicited input from stakeholders to effectively prioritize our work.
Under Dr. Stout’s leadership we have always worked closely with our stakeholders to address issues of this nature and we welcome the opportunity to sit down with HPOU to discuss their concerns.