Sheriff’s Department To Acquire Its Own Firearm Tracking System

(September 28)  The sheriff’s department in short order will acquire a device of its own that will allow the department to track firearms used in crimes or otherwise obtained by its officers. According to captain Steve Higgins, the department has requested and the board of supervisors has approved the expenditure of $206,427 to purchase an Integrated Ballistics Identification and Forensic Technology System manufactured by WAI, Inc. as an unbudgeted fixed asset.
The device “will allow the department’s scientific investigation division to track guns used by and found on criminals,” Higgins said. “This purchase will allow the scientific investigations division to retain access to the system while providing enhanced three dimensional imaging and reduced processing time. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spearheads a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Program to track about 100,000 guns used in crimes and facilitate the sharing of information between different law enforcement agencies. The rapid dissemination of ballistics information allows for tracking of gun-specific information and connection of a particular firearm to multiple crimes irrespective of geographic location. Historically, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has allowed local laboratories to access the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network to search cartridge cases for possible case-to-case or case-to-gun matches by utilizing equipment provided and maintained by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Due to budgetary issues at the federal level, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is removing its workstations from a number of local law enforcement laboratories, including the sheriff’s department’s scientific investigations division crime lab.”
The purchase was made without a competitive bid, Higgins said.
“This is a sole source purchase, as it is the only new system approved by Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms,” he said.

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