YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – They are taking a closer look at all of the evidence. The York County Sheriff’s Office getting a visit from a mobile unit that is able to take a closer look at shell casings and ballistics from cases.
The National Integrated Ballistics Information Network or NIBIN mobile unit is making its way to the York County Sheriff’s Office for the first time. Leaders from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working with Sheriff’s Office leaders to use the unit to inspect shell cases from crime scenes.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’, David Ford says, “That server compares that shell casings image to hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands of other shell casings that have been recovered in crime scenes either in the region or nationwide.”
Regularly sending cases to the NIBIN, the York County Sheriff’s Office leaders say having the mobile unit on site is speeding up the process, leading to faster results.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson saying, “This is just another example of law enforcement agencies working cooperatively together to help solve crimes. Be it the federal agencies helping the local agencies or the local agencies helping the federal agencies, we have great partnerships.”
Small pieces of evidence can have big impacts once they run through that mobile unit and leaders say the shell casings have unique markings, as unique as a fingerprint. That data is then compared against the national database.
Buddy Brown, a Ballistics Technician with the York County Sheriff’s Office says, “What we would normally do when you get an evidence firearm in, we would bring it in here, we would log into our system, we would bring it in here and test fire it with our test fire amo that I showed you — which is a full metal jacket bullet. We would fire into the tank, recover the shell cases and then, package them up… to be taken in and entered into NIBIN.”
Leaders say they recover hundreds of firearms each year.
“The quicker that a shell casing can get into the NIBIN system, the quicker a result can come back and tell you if you got a lead that you didn’t even know about,” says Ford.
Sheriff’s office leaders encourage anyone at home with a firearm to collect a couple of shell casings and store them in a separate area so in case the firearm is ever stolen, officials can identify them against any that are recovered, more easily.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with the experts about the technology.