In October, reports have stated a sprinkler was set off in the freezer of the Houston Police Department’s property room. Property rooms are used by law enforcement to protect and store important evidence. The freezer in particular is used to hold valuable biological and toxicological evidence such as DWI tests.
Now, officers are working to determine the extent of the damage done to evidence. HPD officials have stated they have repackaged 264 evidentiary items and that 60 percent of that items were undamaged. HPD stated the event affected approximately 2,000 items that are associated with 1,300 criminal cases.
Tyler Flood who is a partner at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. and President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, stated that 10 of his 100 members have been notified evidence associated with their cases is being reviewed for damage. He went on to say that “Right now we are still in complete limbo, no solid answers on which way we need to go.”
HPD officials have not yet stated what caused the sprinkler head to malfunction. As of now, both the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) and HPD are working tirelessly to rectify the issue.