EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Local law enforcement agencies are making one thing clear: they are committed to stopping violent offenders in their tracks. And it all starts with a new ballistics testing system in Vanderburgh County.
“Our goal is to have all evidence submitted and an outcome produced within five days on any type of case,” says Daryl McCormick, a Special Agent in Charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
New technology, a new task force, but a familiar goal: reduce crime and keep residents safe. The addition of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN, allows agencies in Evansville and Vanderburgh County to analyze and trace bullets and firearms that could be connected with other shooting incidents across the country.
“When technicians confirm that link does exist, that information is immediately shared with investigators from the region where it was submitted,” explains ATF Special Agent in Charge John Nokes. “This process often provides investigative leads back to the submitting agency within hours of submission as compared to the traditional laboratory submissions, which may take several months or longer.”
In addition to this new system that is housed at the Indiana State Police post in Evansville, a new joint task force will be formed, consisting of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Evansville Police Department, and the county prosecutor’s office. Prosecutor Diana Moers says this new crime gun intelligence center is formed from more than $700,000 in federal grants.
“We will not rest in the fight to keep the community safer and those that commit crime in Vanderburgh County are not making a wise decision,” says Moers.
Officers can test fire bullets or use actual evidence that will be entered into the database. In some cases, a rush can be placed on a piece of evidence to find answers within 24 hours, something McCormick hopes will crack down on local gun violence.
“We want to send a clear, loud, deterrent message to those who are involved in gun violence and those who supply guns to those who commit it,” says McCormick, “that we’ve got tools and we’re going to keep getting better and we’re going to come after you and hold you accountable.”