May 30, 2023 7:40 am

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 method identifies.

In the course of 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 approach, the ATF says, can enable reveal hidden connections involving violent crimes.

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

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

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

“The most crucial issue 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 much more agencies will make constant use of the NIBIN method, and he is pledging to prosecute crimes the NIBIN method reveals.

“More suspects will be identified. Additional suspects will be arrested. Additional violent crimes will be closed. Additional folks will be held accountable, and when much more folks see that, much more folks 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 much more than 350 NIBIN hits considering that 2018.

“I feel something… that can enable us determine the weapons that are becoming utilized in crimes, the quantity of weapons, if weapons are linked from distinct crime scenes, determine offenders, all of that is invaluable info to have early on in an investigation,” Booth told WDBJ7. “So we are accurate believers.”

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

Virginia State Police have acquired the method. Agents are now coaching at the Salem Field Workplace, and sooner or later they hope to operate with regional departments that could advantage from the NIBIN technologies.