AG Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Broadens Firearm Analysis Capabilities



(RICHFIELD, Ohio) — Declaring that “no criminal is safe” in Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost today announced a partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that will allow the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to analyze firearms evidence significantly faster for law enforcement agencies statewide and match evidence against evidence potentially gathered from crimes in other states.

BCI has established a direct link to the ATF’s National Correlation and Training Center – a first in Ohio for an agency with a statewide focus. Beginning this week, BCI will expedite access to ATF’s library of 4.5 million pieces of ballistic evidence, called the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).

“BCI’s job is to provide Ohio law enforcement agencies, big and small, with the tools and other resources necessary to do their job effectively,” AG Yost said. “This partnership is especially important for smaller agencies that lack access to this crucial crime-fighting technology.”

In Ohio, links to the ATF’s Correlation Center currently exist in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo, but these NIBIN units prioritize their own local cases. BCI supports law enforcement throughout the entire state.

Evidence submitted to BCI for analysis by law enforcement agencies will be entered and initially processed by BCI technicians, who examine shell casings for unique markings. The images created by the NIBIN instruments will be simultaneously sent to ATF and if needed analyzed against the national database.

NIBIN is the only automated interstate ballistic imaging network in the United States.

“Criminals know no borders – they intentionally move illegal guns out of state to avoid law enforcement,” Yost said. “Now that BCI has a direct link to the correlation center, we are able to fill in the holes and support law enforcement in all areas of the state. No criminal is safe.”

The partnership with ATF will mean reduced processing times for evidence. It also is likely to mean more leads for police officers and investigators eager to solve gun-related crimes in their jurisdictions.

“ATF is pleased to work with the attorney general, his office and the BCI labs to expand access to NIBIN in Ohio,” said Daryl S. McCormick, special agent-in-charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “Increasing the amount of ballistic information entered into the NIBIN system and correlated against existing entries will undoubtedly result in investigative leads that will be useful to our law enforcement partners.”

News of the center designation follows a late March announcement by AG Yost, Gov. Mike DeWine and others that BCI is receiving $9.2 million in grant funding for the purchase of five additional NIBIN machines, to be housed at BCI laboratories in London, Bowling Green and Richfield.

A video explaining the NIBIN process is available on the Attorney General’s Youtube page.