Raymond, Richard Peña
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/15/2015
LAREDO GETS STATE-OF-THE-ART CRIME LAB, SECURED BY RAYMOND ALONGSIDE LOCAL OFFICIALS
LAREDO – Representative Richard Peña Raymond (Laredo), Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, joined local officials, city and county law enforcement for the grand opening of the new Oscar “O.J.” Hale Crime Lab. As Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations during the 81st Texas Legislature, Rep. Raymond helped secure the $6.1 million for the 17,143 square feet facility. Congressman Henry Cuellar, (Laredo), helped secure federal funding for lab equipment — firing range equipment to provide safe and secure testing of evidentiary firearms and a walk-in freezer for storage and preservation of DNA evidentiary samples.
During the most recent 84th legislature, Rep. Raymond authored HCR 34 which names the new crime lab after Oscar "O.J." Hale, who has spent four decades as Chief Investigator for the 49th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
The Oscar “O.J.” Hale Crime Lab, located at the Texas Department of Public Safety, will utilize the latest technology and techniques to perform analyses in three areas: drug analysis, firearms and toolmarks analysis, and DNA Testing. The crime lab will greatly reduce the wait time for testing while using the most advanced techniques to accurately analyze evidence.
"Mr. Hale has been an inspiration to the people of Laredo and to me," said Rep. Raymond. "His integrity, courageousness, and unmatched passion for public service are just a fraction of the reasons why I authored HCR 34 in his honor."
Personnel in the Drug Analysis Section will analyze samples of street drugs as well as designer drugs. Drug Analysis will also investigate underground drug labs. The Firearms and Toolmarks Section will perform forensic analysis on firearms, cartridge cases, fired shot shells, projectiles, and other evidence associated through tool marks. The Crime Lab will also offer the gold standard of forensic analysis: DNA testing, which identifies suspects.
“I thank the people of Laredo for their unity, dedication, and hard work,” Rep. Raymond said. “Not only will the new crime lab assist law enforcement with expediting cases in our rapidly growing city of Laredo, it will make sure that evidence is properly examined so perpetrators are rightly punished and the victims receive justice.”
Contact: David Leo