The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosivesí
National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Program

Audit Report 05-30
June 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix V

Process Used by the ATF to Identify Sites
Where IBIS Equipment was Deployed

After deciding to combine the redundant ATF and FBI ballistic imaging systems into a single system, both agencies worked to create a national deployment schedule for NIBIN. Prior to the deployment, some state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the ATF’s IBIS program, while others participated in the FBI’s DRUGFIRE program. Under the NIBIN program, partner agencies received either upgraded equipment and software or new equipment and software.

The sites were selected to receive equipment based on such factors as population, rate of violent crime, and demonstration of commitment to ballistic technology through the past use of IBIS or DRUGFIRE equipment. Through this preliminary deployment plan, site surveys were conducted at each agency scheduled to receive equipment to ensure that the type of equipment sent matched the needs and capabilities of the receiving agency. The ATF’s NIBIN contractor conducted site visits and met with upper management from the partner agencies. The contractor used a site survey to obtain information to deliver and install the IBIS equipment. The contractor also discussed the responsibilities of each agency and provided a copy of the MOU that was to be executed between the ATF and each partner agency. The contractor also provided each partner agency with the technical requirements that the facility needed to meet before the IBIS equipment could be provided. Finally, the contractor coordinated with local ATF personnel and each partner agency’s staff on the details of deploying the equipment and coordinating the necessary training.

In addition to distributing the IBIS equipment to the participants under the IBIS and DRUGFIRE programs, other state and local agencies also could request to participate in the NIBIN program. To do so, the agencies were required to submit a letter signed by an agency executive on agency letterhead to the attention of the NIBIN Program Director that included:

  • the population of the area to be served by automated ballistics technology,
  • the number of firearms-related violent crimes in the area serviced by the requesting agency,
  • statistics on firearms-related assaults and homicides for the previous year,
  • the number of firearms recovered by the requesting agency for the previous year,
  • the number of firearms traced by the requesting agency during the previous year,
  • whether the requesting agency had a firearms/toolmark examiner,
  • whether the requesting agency would dedicate staff to support the data entry of ballistics information into the IBIS equipment,
  • whether the requesting agency had a bullet and casing recovery system,
  • whether the requesting agency had sufficient space that was climate controlled for placement of the equipment,
  • whether the agency would allow other agencies access to the IBIS equipment if the requesting agency received it, and
  • whether the agency would enter into a MOU with the ATF regarding the administration of the program.

The ATF evaluated each request on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the request would be approved.

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