A Nationwide Issue Requires A Cohesive Nationwide Network
Technology plays only one part in combatting gun crime in the United States. For ballistics identification technology to have an impact, its usage must first be recognized and promoted by local, state, and even federal, policies. Then, the technology must be fully integrated within organizational processes - meaning law enforcement personnel must be trained in how to use it and intelligence protocols must be established.
An effective crime-gun strategy is supported by three pillars: people, processes and technology.
At first, the idea of using ballistics evidence to combat gun crime may seem like a simple, straightforward solution.
Reality is more complicated, however. Crime investigations are complex, involving many different law enforcement personnel along the journey that evidence (a cartridge case or bullet) makes from crime scene to actionable lead.
First responders, investigators, detectives, gang units, police property managers, lab personnel, firearm examiners and intake personnel—they all need to be trained in the correct protocols for the handling, sharing, and examination of ballistics evidence and intelligence. They also have to understand to whom information should be shared, under what circumstances and when.
When these stakeholders are properly trained and the processes are good, ballistics intelligence will serve its purpose—to help prevent and solve crime. Should anyone miss a beat, gaps will appear and critical crime-solving evidence can slip right through.
The take-away: a strong national ballistic information network relies on the coordination, collaboration and training of all relevant stakeholders.
How IBIS is integrated within a crime-gun investigative cycle is critical to delivering timely leads.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has agreed upon a set of regional crime-gun processing protocols to govern crime-gun and evidence processing. The protocols address several critical aspects of the investigative cycle, including the timely processing of crime-gun test fires and ballistics evidence through NIBIN.
Several states have followed suite, implementing efficient new ballistics examination protocols that have produced impressive results.
In New Jersey, for example, a new state law required that ballistics evidence be processed within 24-48 hours. As a result, the State Police identified several choke points in how crime-gun information is entered into NIBIN and then resolved them by developing the Rapid Assessment into NIBIN (RAIN) protocol. Their RAIN protocol, which saw crime-gun processing times transform from months to days almost overnight, resulted in 78% more NIBIN leads; leads that were generated 300% faster.
The take-away: smart processes mean significant results.
Forensic Technology is proud to be an innovator in the field of forensic ballistics analysis.
In 1993, our Bulletproof Bullet Acquisition and Analysis station was a breakthrough product that revolutionized the world of forensic ballistics identification. Today, our Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) is still the only solution that combines automated High-Definition 2D/3D image capture (both bullets and cartridge cases) with sophisticated correlation algorithms and hyper-efficient database search capabilities.
High-Definition 3D images provide dramatically clearer views of microscopic markings, making it much easier for examiners to confirm matches. Because the images are that much sharper, trained technicians are able to generate leads more confidently.
Forensic Technology continues to invest in developing leading-edge ballistics identification technology via a dedicated R&D team of scientists and developers.
The take-away: only IBIS offers the advanced imaging, correlation algorithms and search capabilities that will consistently generate viable leads.
IBIS is an integral, incredible technology that, together with NIBIN, will help any agency to reduce gun violence.
Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate, City of Cincinnati Police, OH
Managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), NIBIN links firearm-related
crimes by matching ballistic evidence fired from the same gun. This gives investigators
actionable leads in a timely manner. The NIBIN program extends partnerships with federal, state,
and local law enforcement agencies. Read about how to join NIBIN.
To learn more about how IBIS and NIBIN can help you solve gun crime