The founder of Forensic Technology, Robert A. Walsh, has been named winner of the 2014 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Awards, in the category of Innovation in Forensic Technology.
Mr. Walsh was honoured on behalf of the law enforcement profession and the communities protected and served, for the outstanding achievement of having developed the world’s leading forensic ballistic identification system capable of linking a firearm to multiple crimes.
"Although I am here to accept this award by myself, there could just as easily be hundreds of people up here with me," Bob said at the podium from the IACP conference in Orlando, Florida. "This is not an achievement that could be accomplished by a single person. For IBIS to reach the level of global success it has attained, it has required the passion and dedication of the hundreds of men and women of Forensic Technology for more than two decades."To this day, the IBIS technology developed by Walsh has changed the way in which police around the world investigate and solve firearm-related crimes. Independently-conducted studies have proven that IBIS significantly increases the number of investigative leads, helping police solve crimes across jurisdictions which would otherwise remain unsolved. In the United States alone, IBIS has resulted in new investigative leads in over 100,000 shooting cases.
Walsh has taken IBIS from an idea to a mainstream crime-solving solution. Revolutionizing the science of ballistics identification, IBIS could be called the most significant invention in its field since the comparison microscope of the 1920s. Today, IBIS networks are the backbone of firearm violence reduction efforts in nearly seventy countries.
Walsh also generously supports forensic education and has provided law enforcement agencies access to crime-solving tools they could not otherwise afford or obtain.
“I have met some of the very best people in law enforcement and forensic science today,” Walsh says. “It is extremely gratifying to know that IBIS is helping them identify and stop the most dangerous of criminals and prevent them from doing more harm.”
A financial supporter of many law enforcement organizations such as the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners, Walsh regularly supplies resources and funding to workshops that help professionals develop best practices to both solve and prevent gun-related crimes.
"In our six offices across the world, the people of Forensic Technology have worked tirelessly to ensure that our technology is always on the cutting edge, that our customers are getting the most from it, and -- ultimately -- that we are helping make the world a safer place."
"I accept this award on behalf of them. Thank you again for this honour."
Administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Forensic Science Committee, the awards honour former Berkeley police chief August Vollmer, a leading figure in the development of forensics in the United States. The Forensic Science Committee will hold a reception and ceremony to honour the award recipients on the evening Sunday, October 26th, 2014, at the IACP’s 121st Annual Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida.
HISTORY OF IBIS INNOVATION
In 1992, Robert A. Walsh developed BULLETPROOF, the world’s first forensic bullet analysis system. The invention helped firearm examiners more effectively link discharged bullets to crimes under investigation.
Before the introduction of BULLETPROOF, the science of forensic ballistics was a tedious and time-consuming process. As a result, ballistics experts were mainly tasked with preparing cases for court, in order to prove that particular weapons were fired and struck their victims. Very little ballistics evidence was ever used to generate investigative leads, especially in cities with a backlog of cases from high gun crime.
The introduction of computers into the analysis process changed everything however. By decreasing the time to acquire data, new ballistics systems allowed forensic scientists to actively pursue criminals instead of simply testifying against them. Furthermore, Walsh’s invention allowed law enforcement to quickly compare every fired bullet arriving at a laboratory with every other exhibit in evidence.
This incredible advantage was immediately recognized. By 1993, BULLETPROOF technology was adopted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into a program which has evolved today into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).
In 1995, Walsh made a further improvement to the NIBIN program by expanding the analysis capability of his system to include fired cartridge cases. This development lead to the Integrated Ballistics Analysis System (IBIS), the world’s first automated ballistics system capable of analyzing both fired bullets and cartridge cases on the same platform. The technology brought national and international networking capabilities to the process using standard telecommunication lines. As a result, a police officer working in Los Angeles, for example, could determine if a gun seized locally was used in another crime elsewhere in the United States.
In 2005, Walsh added another major improvement to his system by providing 3D-imaging capabilities. IBIS TRAX-3D added the ability to take accurate measurements of the surface topography of fired bullets and cartridge cases without any possibility of damaging delicate evidence. Modular in design, the system was also more highly automated, providing more accurate correlation results and allowing forensic experts to find and observe marks they could not see with traditional tools.
The latest upgrade, IBIS TRAX-HD3D, offers further enhanced 3D imaging, advanced comparison algorithms, and a robust fully-networked infrastructure.
Further information about Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology:
Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistics identification more than 20 years ago and continues to be a leader in ballistics and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. We partner with hundreds of law enforcement agencies in nearly 70 countries and territories, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.
Launched in 2013, IBIS® TRAX-HD3D™ is the latest generation of IBIS technology which incorporates all of the benefits of IBIS and raises them to an entirely new dimension of crime solving value. Using increased automation and new high-definition 3D imaging, IBIS TRAX-HD3D has the ability to capture crucial data at the nanometer level for better correlation accuracy. And its legacy 2D imaging leverages visualization and ensures backward compatibility with earlier IBIS systems.
In 2011, Forensic Technology acquired Projectina Ltd. a specialized Swiss company in the field of computation, development and manufacture of optical and opto-electronical components and systems for demanding technical areas. Together, Forensic Technology and Projectina offer a wider range of products and services that serve the law enforcement community.
In 2014, Forensic Technology became a part of Ultra Electronics, an internationally-renowned defense, security, transport and energy company. The Group has a broad range of distinct market and technology niches within its twenty-nine businesses. Ultra is able to support all of the main prime contractors with specialist capabilities and solutions. Ultra’s systems, equipment and services are often mission-critical, securing its position for the long term and offering superior financial performance.
Ultra offers support to its customers through the design, delivery and support phases of a program. Ultra businesses have a high degree of operational autonomy where the local management teams are empowered to devise and implement competitive strategies that reflect their expertise in their specific niches. The Group has a small head office and executive team that provide to the individual businesses the same agile, responsive support that they provide to customers as well as formulating Ultra’s overarching corporate strategy.