Rockford’s new crimefighting tool can instantly match shell casings to crime scenes

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A new tool is helping local police solve violent crimes.

It’s called NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) and it can save investigators precious time right here in Rockford.

The database can instantly link bullet shell casings to scenes from different crimes happening in other towns or states. Police say they can find information anywhere from Chicago and beyond and no longer have to rely on local ammunition comparison.

“Rockford is one of the few agencies in the state of Illinois that have our own NIBIN machine, so our crime scene investigative folks [who] go to scenes [to] collect casings, we actually have certified NIBIN operators in our crime scene unit,” Chief Dan O’Shea explained.

Chief O’Shea continued: “Without NIBIN, we will have to wait for ballistics on projectiles and that could take months for the labs to get back to us. Now, we can turn around casings from scenes within a matter of hours.”

Since the program began in 1999, NIBIN has collected approximately 16 million images and over 3 million pieces of evidence. Police say this is just one step in utilizing modern technology to keep the city safe.

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