HOUSTON - Harris County leaders have endorsed a land deal to build a new crime lab tower amid a growing number of forensic cases.
County commissioners on Tuesday approved plans to finalize a nearly three-acre land agreement with the Texas Medical Center in Houston.
The Houston Chronicle reports the deal would require construction on a nine-story Institute of Forensic Sciences facility to begin within two years.
District Attorney Pat Lykos says the unit, for testing evidence and doing autopsies, is at a critical juncture regarding capacity and population growth of the county.
The Houston Police Department runs the city's crime lab, which faces a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits.
Harris County officials have discussed testing city samples at the new facility.