Introduction: Launching the Central Ohio Regional Crime Gun Intelligence Center
In a joint effort with state leadership and local partners, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced the establishment of the Central Ohio Regional Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC).
This newly opened center is part of a nationwide initiative aimed at addressing and preventing gun violence in local communities.
It operates as a centralized hub where experts in firearm evidence examination, intelligence analysis, and investigation collaborate to swiftly collect, analyze, and share crucial information related to firearms used in violent crimes.
This marks the second CGIC in Ohio and adds to the over 60 such centers operated by ATF across the United States.
A Collaborative Approach to Combat Gun Violence
Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco commended the Crime Gun Intelligence Centers across the nation, emphasizing their effectiveness in solving violent crimes, bringing repeat offenders to justice, and reducing gun violence rates.
The success of these centers is attributed to the collaboration between federal law enforcement agencies and state and local partners, leveraging their combined resources for public safety.
Key Elements of CGICs: eTrace and NIBIN
Central to ATF-led CGICs are two critical components: eTrace and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN serves as ATF’s extensive network of ballistic images retrieved from crime scenes nationwide.
It plays a pivotal role in investigating shootings by determining whether shell casings recovered from one incident match those from another shooting, facilitating the identification of shooters.
eTrace, on the other hand, is ATF’s crime gun tracing program, which traces firearms associated with criminal investigations back to their initial retail sale.
These elements form the core of CGICs, enabling the development of actionable intelligence leads.
Ohio’s Central Ohio CGIC: A Next-Generation Policing Approach
Governor Mark DeWine of Ohio praised the Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center as a groundbreaking step in intelligence-based policing.
This innovative collaboration, based within the Ohio Department of Public Safety, unites ATF with local agencies, including the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, and Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The center, which commenced operations in July, offers its services free of charge to law enforcement agencies across the region.
Successes and Future Partnerships
Since its inception, the Central Ohio CGIC has already achieved notable successes.
Teams have successfully linked multiple shootings that occurred in Columbus to other crimes committed several years ago, including those in different parts of the state.
This collaborative effort demonstrates the power of partnership and technology in holding individuals accountable for gun-related crimes.
Support and Expansion
The Central Ohio CGIC also enjoys support from additional agencies, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.
ATF continues to collaborate with state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners across the country to establish more Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, furthering their mission to combat gun violence.