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Crime Gun Intelligence Center Practices: Lessons Learned From the Field

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2019
23 pages
This paper highlights critical steps that all Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs) should incorporate into their crime-gun processing, as well as processes currently used by effective CGICs.
The mission of a CGIC is to prevent gun violence through the consistent production of timely, precise, and actionable intelligence on gun crimes, so as to identify armed violent offenders for investigation and targeted enforcement. The timeliness of crime-gun intelligence is the key to how actionable the intelligence is, which affects its ability to be used in preventing future gun violence. The time period from the recovery of ballistic evidence (crime guns and cartridge cases) to the notification of a lead from the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to all affected investigators should occur within 24 to 48 hours. The Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) compares the impact of a test-fired cartridge case from a recovered crime gun or recovered cartridge cases from a crime scene to previously submitted images of cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes. By comparing the correlated images, it is possible to link one or more separate shooting incidents from the same jurisdiction, neighboring jurisdictions, or even from another state to the same firearm. The process for accomplishing the goal of 24-hour turn-around time for ballistic evidence processing is dependent upon each jurisdiction's resources and should be established in consultation with all CGIC components. This paper describes current crime gun processing and tracing practices, the processing of recovered cartridge cases, and current crime gun processing and tracing practices. The paper advises that when establishing a NIBIN process, police agencies and crime laboratories should be flexible in their thinking about who will implement processes and where they will be conducted.