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APD using a new tool to combat gun violence


In order to provide a more comprehensive investigation of violent gun crimes in Amarillo, the Amarillo Police Department applied for a grant in 2018 to establish a program that works with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to evaluate ballistic evidence collected from guns. With this grant, the department purchased the necessary equipment to upload ballistic evidence into the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). You can read more about NIBIN at https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

The equipment was installed and became fully functional in the fall of 2019. With NIBIN, ballistic evidence is uploaded into a national database of ballistic evidence maintained by ATF. The purpose of uploading this evidence is to help solve and prevent other violent gun crimes. For example, if a gun is recovered at one crime scene and NIBIN links this gun to a different crime scene, the detective in charge of the case can follow up on this new lead developed by NIBIN to help solve the case.

Since its inception last fall, the Amarillo Police Department entered 517 pieces of ballistic evidence into NIBIN and generated over 200 leads for detectives. The leads generated by NIBIN resulted in helping to solve 2 homicides and several aggravated assaults in Amarillo. Without NIBIN, this might not have been possible.

This week, the Amarillo Police Department offered its services of uploading ballistic evidence into NIBIN to all law enforcement agencies in the panhandle of Texas. Amarillo has the only NIBIN equipment between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque and between Dallas and Denver. Amarillo PD recently assisted Abilene PD with uploading ballistic evidence from several violent gun crimes and generated leads for them on a homicide and several aggravated assaults.

Solving and preventing violent gun crimes is one of the goals of the Amarillo Police Department and this is made possible with the new equipment to upload evidence into NIBIN.

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