Amarillo Police partnering with ATF to use new ballistic testing software

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “I think it’s going to give us a lot of capabilities that we didn’t have before,” said Ed Drain, Amarillo Police Department Chief of Police.

Chief Drain is referring to their recent partnership with Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives’ National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

“So if a gun is even used in another state and if it’s used here, we can link them up. If it’s used in one street in Amarillo and it’s used at another house in Amarillo, we can potentially match those up as well,” said Chief Drain.

How it works is Amarillo Police enter in images of ballistic evidence from shooting incidents to the network, producing quicker results from the way they used to do it, which was sending it to lab.

“In 2016 we had a homicide here in Amarillo and we took the shell casings from that shooting homicide, we sent them into a state lab and it was two years before we found out we actually had a match,” said Chief Drain.

But that time will be reduced dramatically with the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

“When we put this evidence into the system, these images, we will find out in about 48 hours whether we have a match. This will give us an opportunity to get some of these folks who engage in gun violence in our community off our streets a lot quicker,” said Chief Drain.

Not only does it help the department, it will also benefit those affected by those crimes.

“We’re talking about shooting incidents so sometimes there’s victims associated with those so this could be a big impact on victims as well if we can get these violent offenders off the streets a lot quicker,” said Chief Drain.

Chief Drain said the network is up and running and is quite unique to the State of Texas.

APD is the only department west of I-35 to have this network.

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