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

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 technique identifies.

For the duration 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 procedure, the ATF says, can aid reveal hidden connections in between 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 instances, and we have a reviewing station to determine regardless of whether we have a NIBIN lead or not,” Dandridge mentioned.

The technique has a lengthy and effective track record, linking shell casings fired by the exact same gun.

“The most critical factor 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 much 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. Extra suspects will be arrested. Extra violent crimes will be closed. Extra persons will be held accountable, and when much more persons see that, much more persons 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 much more than 350 NIBIN hits considering the fact that 2018.

“I assume something… that can aid us determine the weapons that are getting utilised in crimes, the quantity of weapons, if weapons are linked from unique crime scenes, determine offenders, all of that is invaluable info to have early on in an investigation,” Booth told WDBJ7. “So we are correct believers.”

The technique has been about considering the fact that the late ‘90s, but access has been an challenge, specifically for smaller sized departments.

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

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