• Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

Technologies, far more prosecutions set to target violent crime in western Virginia


May 25, 2023

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Federal, state and regional authorities are turning to technologies in their fight against violent crime. And they are promising to prosecute crimes the program identifies.

Throughout a news conference Thursday morning, U.S. Lawyer Christopher Kavanaugh touted technologies created by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

It analyzes shell casings located at crime scenes and compares them with other records in a national database. The procedure, the ATF says, can aid reveal hidden connections in between violent crimes.

“This is NIBIN, the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network,” stated Forensic Firearms and Tool Mark Examiner Walter Dandridge, as he demonstrated the program for reporters.

“We have an acquisition station to obtain fired cartridge instances, and we have a reviewing station to recognize no matter if we have a NIBIN lead or not,” Dandridge stated.

The program has a lengthy and profitable track record, linking shell casings fired by the very same gun.

“The most vital factor is that firing-pin impression that is left on the back of that shell casing,” stated Kavanaugh. “That is akin to a fingerprint.”

Kavanaugh stated he hopes far more agencies will make constant use of the NIBIN program, and he is pledging to prosecute crimes the NIBIN program reveals.

“More suspects will be identified. Extra suspects will be arrested. Extra violent crimes will be closed. Extra persons will be held accountable, and when far more persons see that, far more persons will be deterred from violent crime. Our communities will be safer and our citizens will really feel safer,” Kavanaugh stated.

Danville Police Chief Scott Booth stated his division has had far more than 350 NIBIN hits considering the fact that 2018.

“I assume something… that can aid us recognize the weapons that are becoming applied in crimes, the quantity of weapons, if weapons are linked from various crime scenes, recognize offenders, all of that is invaluable information and facts to have early on in an investigation,” Booth told WDBJ7. “So we are accurate believers.”

The program has been about considering the fact that the late ‘90s, but access has been an situation, in particular for smaller sized departments.

Virginia State Police have acquired the program. Agents are now coaching at the Salem Field Workplace, and ultimately they hope to function with regional departments that could advantage from the NIBIN technologies.

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