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Indiana State Police Laboratory Forensic Firearms Identification Unit Reaches Milestone with 500th “Hit”

The Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Laboratory Forensic Firearms Identification Unit recently achieved a nationally recognized milestone. During the month of January, 2017, they surpassed 500 “hits” at this laboratory while utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Program.  This means that on over 500 occasions the Fort Wayne Regional Laboratory assisted local, state, and federal law enforcement in linking over 500 shooting scenes.  These crimes included, drive-by shootings, attempted murder, and homicide.

The NIBIN Program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner. Since 2000 the Indiana State Police Laboratory has used the NIBIN database to assist their contributors in solving gun related crimes.  NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States and is available to most major population centers in the United States.

Prior to the NIBIN Program, firearms examiners performed this process manually which was extremely labor intensive. To use NIBIN, firearms examiners or technicians enter cartridge casing evidence into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System. These images are correlated against the database. The Indiana State Police Laboratory can search against evidence from their jurisdiction, neighboring ones, and others across the country. This program is one investigative tool accessed by law enforcement that allows the sharing of information and easily making law enforcement more effective in closing cases.

“Achieving this milestone at our Fort Wayne Regional Laboratory is truly a reflection of our staff’s quality of work from our Forensic Firearms Identification Unit,” said Laboratory Division Commander Major Steve Holland.  “Forensic Scientists Stacey Hartman and Michelle Fletcher are responsible for our laboratory system reaching this milestone, and we are fortunate to have such a professional, and dedicated staff in our system.”

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