For Immediate Release
New Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center Opens in Columbus
Crime Gun Intelligence Centers Establish a Centralized Intelligence Hub To Provide Real-Time Intelligence Leads
Alongside state leadership and local partners in Columbus, Ohio, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today the opening of a new Central Ohio Regional Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC). These centralized law enforcement hubs focus exclusively on investigating and preventing gun violence in local communities. They bring together, under one roof, the expertise of firearm evidence examiners, intelligence analysts, and investigators to rapidly collect, analyze, and share information about guns used in violent crimes. This is the second CGIC now running in the state of Ohio and one of more than 60 operated by ATF nationwide.
“Across the country, Crime Gun Intelligence Centers — like the one announced today in Columbus — have proven to be uniquely effective tools for solving violent crimes, bringing repeat shooters to justice, and reducing the rate of gun violence,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The intelligence they produce and the collaboration they facilitate represent the best of what federal law enforcement can achieve for public safety when we harness our resources and work hand-in-hand with our state and local law-enforcement partners. The more communities in America that have ready access to a Crime Gun Intelligence Center, the safer our nation will be.”
“As we have in so many cities and states around the country, ATF has partnered with state and local leaders to use crime gun intelligence to help catch the most violent offenders,” said ATF Director Steven Dettelbach. “We are thrilled with the progress that has been made in Ohio and look forward to a long and successful partnership fighting violent crime.”
The centerpiece of ATF-led CGICs are eTrace and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is ATF’s network of millions of ballistic images captured from crime scenes across the nation. NIBIN plays a crucial investigative role in solving shootings. When a shooting takes place, ATF’s NIBIN technology evaluates whether the shell casings recovered from that shooting matches with the shell casings expelled at another shooting that took place at another time and place. eTrace is ATF’s crime gun tracing program. When law enforcement recovers a firearm associated with a criminal investigation, they submit that firearm’s information to ATF to trace it back to the first retail sale. At their core, CGICs develop actionable intelligence leads through the use of NIBIN and eTrace. As a result, multiple shootings can be tied together, whether they happened in the same neighborhood or hundreds of miles apart, and shooters can be identified more quickly.
“The new Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center represents the next generation in intelligence-based policing, and it is unlike anything that has ever been done in Central Ohio before,” said Ohio Governor Mark DeWine. “The teams taking part in this large-scale and long-term collaboration are sharing everything from intelligence and investigative leads to technology and manpower so that they can zero in on the people who are shooting and killing others without remorse. Gun violence is about to become much, much harder to get away with in Central Ohio.”
Housed within the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Central Ohio CGIC is operated in partnership between ATF, the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, and Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The Central Ohio CGIC began operations in July and is available to assist law enforcement agencies throughout the region free of charge. Since its initial launch, teams have connected multiple shootings that occurred in Columbus this summer to other crimes committed several years ago, including crimes that took place in other parts of the state.
“The Crime Gun Intelligence Center is precisely what we need to further empower our officers to capture and prosecute those responsible for perpetrating gun violence in our communities,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther of the City of Columbus. “This is about tapping into the power of collaboration to strengthen accountability and secure justice – using our combined resources to connect the guns being used to kill, maim, and commit crimes with the individuals who wield or peddle them in the first place.”
“Concentrated, collaborative efforts like this CGIC can have a real impact on reducing the level of violence in our cities,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “Federal firearms laws can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. We will not hesitate to use those laws when appropriate to hold accountable those who use firearms to commit acts of violence in our communities.”
Additional agencies that will support the Central Ohio CGIC include the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.
ATF continues to work with their state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners around the country to open more Crime Gun Intelligence Centers.