Chief Hurtt's trip to London cost $14,000

KPRC-2's Phil Archer has details of a trip Chief Hurtt took to look at a DNA lab:

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt addressed concerns on Thursday about a trip to London for the crime lab that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, KPRC Local 2 reported.

HPD is rebuilding its scandal-plagued DNA lab. That's the reason Hurtt said he and three staff members flew to London earlier this month at a cost of more than $14,000.

[snip]

The chief insisted that it was not a pleasure trip. He said the visit was strictly business.

"We have to be able to do this right where people have confidence," Hurtt said.

Hurtt went to London to look at a DNA laboratory operated by Forensic Sciences Services, a state-of-the-art lab that the chief said can process more DNA samples faster and more accurately than any in the U.S.

"This is the vision that I have for the Houston Police Department's DNA lab," Hurtt said.

You'll recall just this week city councilmembers couldn't think of a single probing question to ask HPD Crime Lab Director Irma Rios.

The story notes that HPD is now negotiating to hire "London-based consultants." It was just this past January that HPD's crime lab was in the news as the head of DNA testing resigned after a cheating scandal. So now Chief Hurtt wants to go from disgraced and dysfunctional to state-of-the-art and tops-in-the-U.S. I'm guessing Houstonians would settle for just processing DNA samples successfully. Period. You know the old saying, "champagne taste on a beer budget"? Chief Hurtt has champagne taste, with a near beer track record.

Does Harris County's Crime Lab function successfully without London-based consultants? Well, we know it functions successfully and with little media fanfare!

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 06/27/08 05:12 AM | Print |

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