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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Contact: Kimberly Nerheim

Chicago Police Department Joins ATF Center for Real-Time Gun Crime Intelligence

Investigators receive new leads in 48 hours or less

CHICAGO, Ill. – Today, the Chicago Police Department began receiving real-time intelligence on its local gun crime from ATF’s NIBIN National Correlation and Training Center located in Huntsville, Alabama, which enhances CPD’s already robust usage of the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).

The Center examines and correlates ballistic evidence submitted through ATF’s NIBIN, to identify where, when and how criminals are using firearms in a community within 48 hours of entry. Chicago Police Department is the largest contributor to the NIBIN database. This timely information saves lives and enhances prosecutions of violent gun crime in America today.

"Gun violence continues to pose a clear and present danger to communities across America and here in Chicago, an illegal gun is taken off city streets every 47 minutes," said Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck. "For too long, neighborhoods on the south and west sides of our city have been disproportionately victimized by gun trafficking, violence and gang activity. Over the last three years, Chicago Police officers and federal ATF agents have taken this challenge head-on by working with community groups to target the proliferation of illegal guns and the violence at its core. This latest partnership will provide our joint Chicago Strike Force with an unparalleled level of access and gun trace data to build upon a nearly 40% reduction in shooting victims from when we started."

"We value our partnership with the Chicago Police Department and know this state of the art technology will increase our joint mission of solving illegal gun crime in our communities," remarked ATF Chicago Field Division Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones. "Participating in the NNCTC affords the Chicago Police Department the ability to concentrate resources on other critical aspects of the NIBIN process and increases their ability to provide critical violent gun crime leads to investigators in a timely fashion."

NIBIN is a two-part system that uses 3-D imaging software and state-of-the-art correlation technology to examine and compare shell casings and other ballistic evidence recovered at crime scenes or test fires. When agencies participate in the NNCTC, ATF personnel complete correlations based on submissions from participating sites, and provide real-time intelligence back to investigators within 48 hours of submission.

Since opening in April 2017, the NNCTC has provided leads that have solved homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, and other shooting incidents. Staff complete between 500 and 600 correlations each day for 70 sites in 30 states.

As of November 2019, the NNCTC has conducted 214,265 correlation reviews resulting in over 53,666 leads to partner sites while maintaining a 99.6% confirmation rate of the leads disseminated to partner sites.

NNCTC staff perform quality control for every entered image and provide consistent, defensible correlation services, including peer review. The center also provides NIBIN training for recently added police departments or agencies.

For more information on NNCTC, NIBIN and success stories, please see the attachments or visit

For more information on ATF and its programs, visit


Chicago Field Division