Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $686,433)
Legal Applicant: Wilmington Department of Police
Title of Project: Wilmington (Del.) Crime Gun Intelligence Center Integration Expansion
The Wilmington Police Department (WPD), and the Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) are seeking funding from Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to assist with the expansion of its existing Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC). Funding would provide WPD the ability to enhance officer safety; address illegal firearm-related crime; and utilize intelligence, technology, and community engagement to swiftly identify crime guns, their sources, and effectively prosecute perpetrators in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This grant will assist the Wilmington Police Department who has collaborated to enhance their already existing CGIF Certified Forensic Firearms Crime Laboratories to benefit residents of DE.
Grant funds will enhance the WPD Laboratory by funding a contractual Firearms Examiner. This will allow WPD to continue to provide a full-service Forensic Firearms Crime Laboratory with the capabilities of evidence entries, examinations, tool mark analysis, serial number restoration and casing/ballistic matches statewide for law enforcement agencies. WPD has a fully operational firearms lab, with the exception of a firearms examiner. WPD has been a CGIC certified Forensic Firearms Crime Laboratory for several years, entered into a MOU with ATF, and meets the CGIC business practices.
Grant funds will also be used to purchase forensic microscopes needed for forensic examinations of projectiles and or shell casings to confirm ballistic matches. This will enhance the WPD Laboratory to become a full-service Forensic Firearms Crime Laboratory with evidence entries, serial number restoration, examinations and ballistic matches; subsequently bolstering investigations and prosecutions of violent firearm crime. DE DOJ will use grant funds to oversee the creation and implementation of a Gun Reporting and Tracking System using the existing statewide police incident reporting system, LEISS.
Goals for the project are: 1. Develop analytical support to improve police response to gunshots fired utilizing report management systems (RMS), eTrace, and other technology; 2. Become even more efficient and continue to grow in learning and adopt national best practices to avoid any backlogged evidence; 3. Decrease turnaround time for processing evidence; 4. Hire one (1) firearms examiner and purchase equipment within 90 days; 5. Complete a final analysis report.