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Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences

    Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences

    Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences Building - 2355 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207
    Phone: (214) 920-5900

    The Dallas County Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (SWIFS) is a local government forensic pathology and laboratory science institution dedicated to serving the public interests through the provision of a broad spectrum of essential forensic services which are performed accurately, impartially and timely.

    SWIFS consists of two primary divisions - The Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) and the Criminal Investigation Laboratory (CIL).

    Office of the Medical Examiner

    The primary function of the Dallas County Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) is determination of the cause and manner of death for those deaths within the jurisdiction of the office, generally, sudden and unexpected deaths occurring in Dallas County (TX CCP 49.25). The OME also serves as a regional forensic pathology resource on a fee for service basis, primarily serving smaller jurisdictions operating with a Justice of the Peace death investigation system. Approximately 1,400 autopsies are performed for other Texas counties annually.

    Criminal Investigation Laboratory

    The primary function of the Criminal Investigation Laboratory (CIL) is to provide an impartial source for forensic laboratory analyses and expert scientific consultation and testimony. Services are provided to Dallas County departments and also are provided to other agencies on a fee for service basis. The City of Dallas Police (DPD) department is the largest CIL customer; approximately 50% of CIL work is performed for DPD. Approximately 25% of the work performed by the CIL is for “internal customers” - the OME, the District Attorney and other County departments. The CIL is accredited by the ANAB-ASCLD/LAB and by the Texas Forensic Science Commission. The CIL participates in two key national forensic database programs: National Integrated Ballistics Network (NIBIN) and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

    A widely utilized component of the CIL is the Breath Alcohol Technical Supervision Program:

    • The CIL Breath Alcohol Technical Supervision (Breath Alcohol) program operates following procedures and rules promulgated by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory Office of the Scientific Director (TxDPS). In Texas, all state and local government breath alcohol testing must be conducted using methods approved by TxDPS and by a operator certified by TxDPS. The Breath Alcohol program serves 12 police agencies in and around Dallas County, which includes approximately 300 certified operators. The program is funded through fees and fine revenue, and operates with 3 full-time staff. The Breath Alcohol program is accredited to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 in the field of Forensic Sciences Calibration by ANAB-ASCLD/LAB.