About Us

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) was established in 1969 through the cooperative efforts of the Dallas County Commissioners Court, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the City of Dallas, Parkland Hospital, and the Dallas County Medical Society.

A specific goal in creating SWIFS was to consolidate a professional forensic pathology service with forensic laboratory services under one scientific director who reported to the Commissioners Court and the UT Southwestern Pathology chairperson. This forward-thinking action on the part of local officials was consistent with recommendations promulgated many years later in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on forensic science, which calls for removing all public forensic laboratories from the administrative control of law enforcement and prosecution agencies.

In serving the public interests, the office maintains a close working relationship with law enforcement and prosecution agencies, and routinely provides expert consultation to defense attorneys and other justice system participants. The relationship between SWIFS and UT Southwestern continues, and includes faculty appointments for all Medical Examiners and selected Crime Lab staff, a forensic pathology fellowship program, and provision of training to medical residents and students.