Huntsville police uses technology to link ballistic evidence to other crimes

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Huntsville Police Department is now using a technology that can link ballistic evidence used in crimes more quickly to a national database.

When processing a crime scene, police consider everything as evidence that could possibly identify an offender. Ballistic evidence is often an important piece of the puzzle.

“Ballistics are anything from the bullet, the trajectory out of a handgun, rifle, to any type of casing or bullet fragment," said Lt. Michael Johnson with HPD.

Evidence like a bullet can lead to a gun, and then to the person who shot the gun.

HPD typically relies heavily on the state department of forensic science to process evidence.

“As our population has increased across the state, the demand for needing the process of this type of evidence, it’s kind of led to where agencies need their own," Johnson said.

HPD now has its own National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) lab.

“The technology’s not new, but the demand and the need to have their own is," Johnson said.

This technology can examine shell casings and firearm evidence and almost immediately link them to similar evidence.

“We can have a lot of shootings in a short amount of time and be able to match up ballistics information very quickly," Johnson said. “If that offending weapon is used I north Alabama, we’re going to enter the information, find the match, and we’re gonna know about it.”

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