Gwinnett County police investing in new technology to address gun violence

Gwinnett County leaders just approved the purchase of ballistic technology which police hope will solve violent crimes more effectively.

The Integrated Ballistic Identification System allows officers to use forensic analysis on shell casings recovered from crime scenes.

Gwinnett County Police said they're currently using the ATF's system which limits the number of cases they can look into and it's a slower process in getting vital ballistics information to their investigators

"We must deliver shell casing to the ATF and wait, sometimes, weeks for results due to the backlog of cases," Chief Brett West recently explained. 

Police said they know this ballistics technology works, having previously used the ATF's system.

"We've linked guns already to New York to Virginia to New Orleans so it's very effective," GCPD Public Information Officer Hideshi Valle told Reporter Brian Hill.

The program is like a fingerprinting system for guns.

"When bullets are fired from a handgun or rifle, the spent cartridge or shell casing that's left with distinguishing marks specific to that firearm," Chief West said.

Officers take shell casings and place them into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

Investigators can then link those casings to specific guns.

"A ballistics match may ultimately link suspects to violent crimes," the chief explained. 

With a price tag of $200,000, the department hopes it will help drive down gun violence and examine what's behind it.

"Gathering the data, gathering the information. We do hope this is gonna bring some understanding where it's coming from," Valle explained.

Gun violence has spiked across Atlanta and other major cities this year.

President Joe Biden has called the issue a 'public health epidemic'.

Earlier this month, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the police department laid out a $70-million plan to combat crime.

Several other metro cities and counties have also announced gun violence reduction efforts to keep communities safe and criminals off the street.

No word just yet on when the Gwinnett County Police Department will purchase the product. 

They said there are a few logistics that need to be finalized first.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.