Blog

Explore our blog posts to learn about the challenges impacting—and technologies available—to law enforcement and forensic professionals today. We invite you to read, comment and share!
4 Essential features of the modern comparison microscope

by Ron Nichols The comparison microscope is a key tool for firearm and toolmark examination. Since the late 1920s the comparison microscope has allowed examiners to thoroughly analyze forensic specimens side-by-side. The growth in gun-related crime in the US increased the demand for comparison microscopes in forensic labs and has been the catalyst for continued

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To Glock or not to Glock? Firing pin shapes: 2019 update

You can't find a match if lab-fired cartridge cases are classified as “Elliptical (Glock)” while crime-scene recovered cartridge case are labelled as “Circle”. Learn about “Glock” and when it should be selected as the Firing Pin Shape.

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3 Key Developments in the Evolution of Bullet Acquisition Technology

BULLETTRAX is now equipped with (1) High-definition 2D image and 3D topography: wider field-of-view and more surface information. (2) Easier to operate: quick bullet-mounting, and intuitive controls. (3) Smaller footprint: frees up space in the forensics lab.

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Best Practices for Creating a “High-Hit” IBIS Database

When planning the integration of IBIS® into your policing of a city, state/province and/or country, the list of possible approaches can seem endless.

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Developing an Effective Strategy to Review Correlation Results: a Lesson in Cost-Benefit Analysis

Whereas examination tools provide examiners with data to form conclusions, a screening tool such as IBIS compares data from many exhibits providing investigators with timely investigative information,

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The Importance of Interdependence

Some “independently” funded law enforcement information management systems are unable to freely communicate with other information management systems. Information is contained in silos: information may flow freely within the silo but is unavailable to those outside the silo who may have the case-breaking piece of evidence. So independence isn't always the best policy. Independence and inter-dependence are not mutually-exclusive concepts.

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IBIS connects registered gun to assassin

Rodel Batocambe and his police security detail were assassinated on Dec 22, 2018. IBIS matched cartridge cases and bullets recovered from the crime scene to a gun registered in the IBIS civilian non-crime database. All legal firearms—and their ballistic fingerprints—in the Republic of the Philippines are registered in IBIS databases. Ballistic images from crime-scenes are routinely checked for matches in the civilian non-crime database. In this case, a match was found allowing police to identify a suspect.

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Hiring the right people for IBIS: sometimes, finding the best person means going against your best instincts

Author: Ron Nichols

Given the recent advances in Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS®) hardware and software, one thing is abundantly clear—it is very technician friendly. From acquisition through correlation results review, technicians can perform IBIS tasks quickly and reliably.

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Cast firing pins: what to look out for

Author: Andrew Boyle

When you’re performing reviews and comparing firing pin images, you’ll want to be especially careful when you see a straight, scar-like line going through the middle of the firing pin impression, as shown in the following images. This means that the firing pin is a cast firing pin.

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Making Ghost Guns a Little Less Scary

Author: Andrew Boyle

The term “Ghost Gun” is used to describe any firearm that does not have a serial number.  The onset of 3D-printed firearms means that ghost guns with no external markings whatsoever will be a reality for IBIS users around the world when they’re trying to add a firearm exhibit into IBIS. 

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Tastes great! Solves homicides! Prevents shootings!

Author: Ron Nichols

“Tastes great! Less filling!”, the long-running marketing campaign for a lite version of a popular beer, was ranked by a marketing magazine as the eighth best campaign in history. Commercials featured individuals who would drink the beer and then exclaim, “Tastes great!”

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Are you cutting off the ends of the ham?

Author: Ron Nichols

There’s a story of a young girl watching her mom prepare the ham for the holiday dinner. She saw her mom cutting off each end of the ham and asked her why she did that.

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Decreasing the Backlog to meet the needs of Law Enforcement

An interview with Forensics Services Chief Pam Hofsass

"There is no quick fix to the increased demand for testing and connectivity, however, if you work collaboratively and with an open mind, great things can happen."
~~ Chief Pam Hofsass

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Exhibit Acquisitions: Double Dipping is Bad (Except When It’s Good)

Author: Andrew Boyle

There are many things that can be done to increase your effectiveness with IBIS. One of the services we offer is to have an IBIS trainer visit your site and perform an evaluation of your IBIS work and your workflow.

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