Davenport Police could uncover investigations faster thanks to new NIBIN System

The new system looks at individual shell casings and connects them with other weapons, shootings, and crimes across the network.

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Davenport Police have been approved to house a new system that can connect different crime scene by analyzing shell casings, ballistics, and weapons.

The new system is called NIBIN, or the National Integrative Ballistic Information Network.

“2017 we can say we had a pretty violent year with gun crimes,” says Major Jeff Bladel, Assistant Chief of Police. “We have donated a ton of time as an agency to gun crimes and keeping our public's safe.”

Now, police can solve investigations faster thanks to the NIBIN System.

“The system itself is going to be an over-sized computer with an over-sized electronic microscope,” Bladel describes.

NIBIN works by first starting with shell casings found at the scene of the crime.

“Firearms, when they are fired, create a unique characteristic on casings,” explains Davenport Police Capt. Brent Biggs.

Those casings are then put through a NIBIN machine to create a 3-D image that is shared with other departments using NIBIN.

“It will allow us to connect scenes, it will allow us to connect different shots fired, it will allow us to connect weapons to shots fired,” says Bladel.

Currently, Davenport Police send their evidence to a lab in Ankeny.

“The challenge now is those sites are limited, so then again we do have a lot of turnaround time,” Bladel comments.  “Having that ability or process technology in-house could cut that down to week response.”

Overall, it would cut turnaround time from six to eight months to just days.

“So, the more sites that are up, the more technology that is available to these agencies,” says Bladel. “We are connecting crimes a lot quicker.”

Right now, Des Moines is the only area in Iowa to have a NIBIN System.  Waterloo is also looking into being a site.

Davenport Police say they would work with other Quad City area police departments to use the NIBIN System.