ATF awards Baton Rouge money for gun intelligence center
BATON ROUGE- The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms awarded approximately $635,000 to Baton Rouge for a crime gun intelligence center.
The center will use NIBIN, which stands for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. The machine processes ballistic evidence and identifies matches. Ultimately, that helps lead to the prosecution of those who commit crimes.
"Whatever shots are fired, if it's a semiautomatic weapon, a shell casing ejects out of the side," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "They leave unique marks like a fingerprint. This NIBIN machine will tell us that the shell casing was shot from this type of weapon."
The hope is that the award will lead to higher clearance rates, an increase in gun identification and reduce violent crimes.
"This grant will allow us to get a second NIBIN machine," Moore said. "Becuase we have a lot of shots fired and another microscope that compares those that these shell casings came from this type of gun."
When the grant was applied for, statistics were used showing the immense need. An unusual spike in homicides occurred after the August 2016 flood. There were also a high number of shots fired. Moore hopes extra resources will continue to translate to lower shots fired as processing the evidence moves forward.
"Our hope is we will be able to respond to shots fired quicker with bigger teams," Moore said. "We can have a rapid response team in hot locations whatever is hot that day week or time."
Baton Rouge was among seven other cities receiving money from the federal grant.