• Tue. May 30th, 2023

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


May 25, 2023

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

Through 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 discovered at crime scenes and compares them with other records in a national database. The procedure, the ATF says, can assistance reveal hidden connections among violent crimes.

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

“We have an acquisition station to obtain fired cartridge circumstances, and we have a reviewing station to recognize regardless of whether we have a NIBIN lead or not,” Dandridge mentioned.

The technique has a extended and prosperous track record, linking shell casings fired by the identical gun.

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

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

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

Danville Police Chief Scott Booth mentioned his division has had far more than 350 NIBIN hits because 2018.

“I consider something… that can assistance us recognize the weapons that are getting applied in crimes, the quantity of weapons, if weapons are linked from distinctive 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 technique has been about because the late ‘90s, but access has been an concern, specially for smaller sized departments.

Virginia State Police have acquired the technique. Agents are now education at the Salem Field Workplace, and at some point they hope to operate with nearby departments that could advantage from the NIBIN technologies.