New Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center Opens in Columbus
Free evidence analysis and investigative support now available for Central Ohio law enforcement agencies.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joined state, local, and federal leaders in Columbus to unveil the new Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC).
Housed within the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Central Ohio CGIC is operated in partnership between the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This centralized law enforcement hub, which focuses exclusively on investigating and preventing gun violence, combines the expertise of firearm evidence examiners, intelligence analysts, and investigators under one roof to rapidly collect, analyze, and share information about guns used in violent crimes.
"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 Governor 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."
The centerpiece of the Central Ohio CGIC is the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), which was developed by the ATF to help law enforcement connect gun crimes nationwide. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is dedicating two NIBIN machines to the CGIC that will create digital images of shell casings connected to criminal investigations and compare them to firearm evidence from other crimes. A match indicates that the same firearm may have been used in multiple shootings, and law enforcement can use this information as an investigative lead.
“As ATF Director Steve Dettelbach and I announced in January, 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 City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “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.”
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 numerous guns to crimes that were committed both recently and several years ago.
“ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Centers around the country use data, science, and crime gun evidence to support the investigation and prosecution of violent criminals,” stated Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “We look forward to working with our law enforcement partners to expand existing efforts in Central Ohio to use these resources to make our communities safer through targeting and prosecuting the users and the sources of crime guns.”
“Crime Gun Intelligence Centers succeed when NIBIN technology is leveraged by law enforcement agencies working together to pinpoint and stop criminals who illegally use guns on our streets,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “This is a path forward all political parties can agree will reduce gun 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.
“The center represents a crucial step forward in our efforts to combat gun violence in our community. With this ground-breaking technology and collaboration with local agencies, we’ll be able to make a real impact in reducing gun crime and help victims and their families find justice," said Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin “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. “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.”
The Central Ohio CGIC is now the second full-scale crime gun intelligence center in the state, joining the center operated by the Cincinnati Police Department. The two new NIBIN machines dedicated to the Central Ohio CGIC were funded as part of Governor DeWine's Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative, which was announced in March 2022. A total of $10.5 million was awarded to the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to increase the number of NIBIN units in Ohio from seven to 16.
Other assistance for first responders developed by the DeWine-Husted Administration includes the creation of the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio School Safety Center, Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness, Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, Ohio Body-Worn Camera Program, Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program, Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Program, Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, Ohio Court Backlog Reduction Program, Community Violence Prevention Grant Program, and the new eWarrant database.