The Forensic Investigations Division consists of forensic investigators with diverse areas of expertise. These specialties include:
- Criminal Justice
- Forensic Anthropology
- Forensic Nurse
- Physician Assistant
The forensic investigators are responsible for conducting death investigations by developing organized, concise and accurate death reports in accordance with Texas Code of Criminal Procedures 49.25. Forensic investigators respond to the scene of death and document it with photographs, measurements, temperature readings as well as written documentation. While in the field, forensic investigators may also conduct a preliminary physical examination of the body including collecting and preserving physical and biological material at the scene for evidence or further forensic investigation. The forensic investigator prepares and submits all specified reports to all designated parties covering operations and jurisdictions. Forensic investigators may also testify in court regarding scene investigations, observations and investigative reports.
In accordance with the policies and procedures set forth by the chief medical examiner and chief forensic investigator, the forensic investigations staff supervise the receiving of decedents at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in order to protect and secure the body, personal property and the integrity of any specimens. The investigators are also responsible for handling proper identification of the decedent and notification of family. Forensic investigators are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
||In addition, the Forensic Investigations Division provides training to area law enforcement agencies and medical facilities and conducts community awareness programs.
The Forensic Investigations Division also consists of specialized units and programs for Forensic Investigators:
- Skeletal Recovery Team
- Identification Unit
- Forensic Nurse and Physician Assistant Investigator Program