High Point police trace seized guns, casings in mobile ATF unit

Piedmont Triad News

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The High Point Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) aim to register 600 weapons this week using the Mobile NIBIN Unit.

High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud said Thursday gun violence is at the city’s doorstep, but the mobile technology is helping generate leads to criminals.

“We’re coming after you, that’s as simple as I can say it, you’re not safe anywhere you go,” Stroud said.

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network helps connect weapons to other crimes committed across the country.

Agents fire seized guns for images of casings, those images are uploaded to a national collection of ballistic evidence, then federal examiners then make comparisons

“Once they make that comparison, they can say yes that image matches this image and to a 99.6 degree of certainty that it’s the same firearm, which means that firearm was used subsequently in additional crimes,” said Jason Walsh, the resident agent in charge for the ATF.

Officials said in the Carolinas over 40% of our criminal cases In 2020 were connected to NIBIN.

In Greensboro, police have seized 1,719 guns so far this year. In High Point, officers seized 318.

Captain Curtis Cheeks III explained agents logged 35 of the department’s guns into the system this week. He says there was at least one immediate match.

“The leads come in within 24 to 48 hours, as they come in we process them triage them, follow up, a lot of times it requires us reaching out we’re touching base with the other gun investigators,” he said.

High Point Police have ordered a shoot tank of their own, but supply chain issues delayed its arrival. When it does get here, officers can trace bullets quickly on site.

“Right now when we want to do those, we have to travel either to our range or to Greensboro. We’ll be able to do it in-house, get those cases entered in and immediately start our follow-up process without spending half a day traveling back-and-forth,” he said.

The mobile unit will head to Alamance County Sheriff’s Office next week.

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