Gun violence has plagued Chicago for too long, and now the Chicago Police Department has the assistance of a high-tech investigative van created by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
“While CPD has some of the best tools in law enforcement to combat and investigate crimes, I’m happy to announce that we will be working in greater partnership with the ATF in the coming months to give us greater resources,” said Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police Department superintendent.
The new tool is a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network van, which travels to different crime scenes across the city. The van has the capabilities to trace bullet casings and compare them with national records.
“Tracing those cartridges from gun to gun connects those dots so that Superintendent Johnson and the good men and women of the Chicago Police Department can find those who are responsible for the gun violence on the streets of Chicago,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin.
Sen. Durbin mentioned that this level of technology is not receiving the amount of investment that it deserves and remains a limited resource, despite what is portrayed on common crime shows. He even wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for an expansion of these resources.
Both Sen. Durbin and Superintendent Johnson noted the impact the NIBIN van can have on expediting the timeline of solving crimes. The van is capable of gathering as much information from a single weekend that is traditionally found in an entire month.
“Beyond cooperation with the community and good old fashioned police work, solving gun crime cases takes a high level investigative tool and expert ballistics analysis,” Johnson said.
Although Chicago would benefit from having the van as a permanent fixture, it is the only one available for the entire country. The van has been there for three weeks, and since summer usually delivers a higher amount of crime, its presence would be appreciated over the next few months.
“While we still have a great deal of work ahead of us, I can say without a doubt that we’re committed to making our neighborhoods safer,” Johnson said. “These resources are the next step in that process.”