Markings Previously Unknown Now Lead To Suspects Nationwide
The Integrated Ballistic Identification System digitally captures the impressions a gun leaves on bullets when fired and compares these unique identifiers to ones related to other cases.
The system, which can search for matches within local areas, broader regions, or internationally, is overseen in the United States by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and operated by local law enforcement offices, budget permitting.
The tool has particular implications for solving gang-related crimes in which a single gun is used in several incidents by different suspects.
“Potentially, we can use this to map patterns of street warfare,” notes Melanie Miller of the Stockton Police Department.
Law enforcement in Atlanta has found it so useful that they installed drop boxes in at least one local hospital operating room for doctors to leave bullets retrieved from victims’ bodies.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Modesto Bee (12/23/03) P. B3; Brown, Mareva.