DNA Database Recognized at Public Safety Commission Meeting
AUSTIN, February 14, 2013 – The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and DPS Director Steven McCraw today recognized the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database for recent achievements, and welcomed new Commissioner Randy Watson to his first Public Safety Commission meeting.
“The CODIS program in Texas has helped revolutionize investigations and help solve thousands of crimes along the way,” said Director McCraw. “Many of these crimes likely would not have been solved without this critical database to match offender DNA with DNA from crime scenes.”
The CODIS section of the DPS Crime Laboratory Service today received a Unit Citation for its recent accomplishments. In November 2012, the program registered the 10,000th cold hit, ranking fourth among the states in the number of CODlS hits. Cold hits are unexpected matches between DNA of known criminal offenders with biological evidence from crime scenes. Since 1998, the DPS CODIS Lab has helped solve more than 640 homicides, 3,300 sexual assaults, 4,200 burglaries, 550 robberies and hundreds of other crimes in Texas and other states.
Today also marked the first PSC meeting for new Commissioner Randy Watson of Burleson. Watson was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in December to replace John Steen, who was appointed Texas Secretary of State. Watson is the chairman and CEO of Justin Brands Inc., and his term expires in January of 2018.
“We welcome Commissioner Watson to the Public Safety Commission and we are fortunate to have his expertise in the business and government sectors,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “His voice will be important as we move forward with issues of vital importance to DPS and the citizens of Texas.”