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Police Chiefs Honor IBIS Ballistics System Creator

Robert Walsh receives the 2014 Vollmer Award for Innovation in Forensic TechnologyThe founder of Forensic Technology, Robert A. Walsh, has been named winner of the 2014 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Awards, in the category of Innovation in Forensic Technology.

Mr. Walsh was honoured on behalf of the law enforcement profession and the communities protected and served, for the outstanding achievement of having developed the world’s leading forensic ballistic identification system capable of linking a firearm to multiple crimes.

"Although I am here to accept this award by myself, there could just as easily be hundreds of people up here with me," Bob said at the podium from the IACP conference in Orlando, Florida. "This is not an achievement that could be accomplished by a single person. For IBIS to reach the level of global success it has attained, it has required the passion and dedication of the hundreds of men and women of Forensic Technology for more than two decades."

To this day, the IBIS technology developed by Walsh has changed the way in which police around the world investigate and solve firearm-related crimes. Independently-conducted studies have proven that IBIS significantly increases the number of investigative leads, helping police solve crimes across jurisdictions which would otherwise remain unsolved. In the United States alone, IBIS has resulted in new investigative leads in over 100,000 shooting cases.

Walsh has taken IBIS from an idea to a mainstream crime-solving solution. Revolutionizing the science of ballistics identification, IBIS could be called the most significant invention in its field since the comparison microscope of the 1920s. Today, IBIS networks are the backbone of firearm violence reduction efforts in nearly seventy countries.

Walsh also generously supports forensic education and has provided law enforcement agencies access to crime-solving tools they could not otherwise afford or obtain.

“I have met some of the very best people in law enforcement and forensic science today,” Walsh says. “It is extremely gratifying to know that IBIS is helping them identify and stop the most dangerous of criminals and prevent them from doing more harm.”

A financial supporter of many law enforcement organizations such as the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners, Walsh regularly supplies resources and funding to workshops that help professionals develop best practices to both solve and prevent gun-related crimes.

"In our six offices across the world, the people of Forensic Technology have worked tirelessly to ensure that our technology is always on the cutting edge, that our customers are getting the most from it, and -- ultimately -- that we are helping make the world a safer place."

"I accept this award on behalf of them. Thank you again for this honour."

Administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Forensic Science Committee, the awards honour former Berkeley police chief August Vollmer, a leading figure in the development of forensics in the United States. The Forensic Science Committee will hold a reception and ceremony to honour the award recipients on the evening Sunday, October 26th, 2014, at the IACP’s 121st Annual Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida.

 

HISTORY OF IBIS INNOVATION

In 1992, Robert A. Walsh developed BULLETPROOF, the world’s first forensic bullet analysis system. The invention helped firearm examiners more effectively link discharged bullets to crimes under investigation.

Before the introduction of BULLETPROOF, the science of forensic ballistics was a tedious and time-consuming process. As a result, ballistics experts were mainly tasked with preparing cases for court, in order to prove that particular weapons were fired and struck their victims. Very little ballistics evidence was ever used to generate investigative leads, especially in cities with a backlog of cases from high gun crime.

The introduction of computers into the analysis process changed everything however. By decreasing the time to acquire data, new ballistics systems allowed forensic scientists to actively pursue criminals instead of simply testifying against them. Furthermore, Walsh’s invention allowed law enforcement to quickly compare every fired bullet arriving at a laboratory with every other exhibit in evidence.

This incredible advantage was immediately recognized. By 1993, BULLETPROOF technology was adopted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into a program which has evolved today into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).

In 1995, Walsh made a further improvement to the NIBIN program by expanding the analysis capability of his system to include fired cartridge cases. This development lead to the Integrated Ballistics Analysis System (IBIS), the world’s first automated ballistics system capable of analyzing both fired bullets and cartridge cases on the same platform. The technology brought national and international networking capabilities to the process using standard telecommunication lines. As a result, a police officer working in Los Angeles, for example, could determine if a gun seized locally was used in another crime elsewhere in the United States.

 In 2005, Walsh added another major improvement to his system by providing 3D-imaging capabilities. IBIS TRAX-3D added the ability to take accurate measurements of the surface topography of fired bullets and cartridge cases without any possibility of damaging delicate evidence. Modular in design, the system was also more highly automated, providing more accurate correlation results and allowing forensic experts to find and observe marks they could not see with traditional tools.

The latest upgrade, IBIS TRAX-HD3D, offers further enhanced 3D imaging, advanced comparison algorithms, and a robust fully-networked infrastructure.

 

Further information about Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology:

Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistics identification more than 20 years ago and continues to be a leader in ballistics and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. We partner with hundreds of law enforcement agencies in nearly 70 countries and territories, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

Launched in 2013, IBIS® TRAX-HD3D™ is the latest generation of IBIS technology which incorporates all of the benefits of IBIS and raises them to an entirely new dimension of crime solving value. Using increased automation and new high-definition 3D imaging, IBIS TRAX-HD3D has the ability to capture crucial data at the nanometer level for better correlation accuracy. And its legacy 2D imaging leverages visualization and ensures backward compatibility with earlier IBIS systems.

In 2011, Forensic Technology acquired Projectina Ltd. a specialized Swiss company in the field of computation, development and manufacture of optical and opto-electronical components and systems for demanding technical areas. Together, Forensic Technology and Projectina offer a wider range of products and services that serve the law enforcement community.

In 2014, Forensic Technology became a part of Ultra Electronics, an internationally-renowned defense, security, transport and energy company. The Group has a broad range of distinct market and technology niches within its twenty-nine businesses. Ultra is able to support all of the main prime contractors with specialist capabilities and solutions. Ultra’s systems, equipment and services are often mission-critical, securing its position for the long term and offering superior financial performance.

Ultra offers support to its customers through the design, delivery and support phases of a program. Ultra businesses have a high degree of operational autonomy where the local management teams are empowered to devise and implement competitive strategies that reflect their expertise in their specific niches. The Group has a small head office and executive team that provide to the individual businesses the same agile, responsive support that they provide to customers as well as formulating Ultra’s overarching corporate strategy.

Ultra acquires Forensic Technology Inc.

Friday, April 25, 2014-- Ultra announces that it has agreed to acquire Forensic Technology WAI Inc (“Forensic Technology”) from private investors and its management team which includes the company's founder. All of the management team will stay with the business.

Forensic Technology is an international company, headquartered in Montreal, Canada that employs 253 across six offices around the globe. The company provides automated firearm ballistics identification and forensic analysis systems to law enforcement agencies in over 65 countries. Forensic Technology is currently developing a number of document security and analytic products based on its existing capabilities and areas of expertise. The company has a 20+ year track record of delivering market-leading forensic analysis solutions that help police worldwide combat gun crime at local and national levels, as well as internationally through its partnership with INTERPOL. Forensic Technology’s customers include the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Canada’s RCMP, Israel Police, the UK’s National Ballistics Intelligence Service, and the South African Police Service.

Robert Walsh, Founder of Forensic Technology, commented:

“Ultra’s acquisition of Forensic Technology is an excellent opportunity for our companies to leverage each other’s strengths by ensuring continued investment in emerging technologies and building on the existing relationships and support our customers have come to expect. For the next few years, I am proud to assist our company and support Ultra in its efforts to build on their position in the fields of security and forensics.”

The acquisition of Forensic Technology will be financed using Ultra’s facilities and balance sheet, and will be fully earnings accretive in 2015. Forensic Technology will continue to operate from its existing facilities as a bolt–on acquisition to Ultra’s Tactical & Sonar Systems Division.

The transaction is subject to US regulatory approvals. Assuming satisfaction of all closing conditions and approvals, the transaction is expected to close towards the end of the second quarter of 2014.

Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive of Ultra, commented:

“I am pleased with the acquisition of Forensic Technology. It has established a strong position in the international market place and its technologies and capabilities complement Ultra’s broader law enforcement, security and data analytic offerings. This provides an important step in building our portfolio in the security sector.”

 

Further information about Ultra:

Ultra Electronics is an internationally successful defence, security, transport and energy company with a long, consistent track record of development and growth. Ultra businesses constantly innovate to create solutions to customer requirements that are different from and better than those of the Group’s competitors. The Group has a broad range of distinct market or technology niches within its twenty nine businesses. The diversity of niches enables Ultra to contribute to a large number of platforms and programmes and provides resilience to the Group’s financial performance.

Ultra has world-leading positions in many of its niches and, as an independent, non-threatening partner, is able to support all of the main prime contractors with specialist capabilities and solutions. As a result of such positioning, Ultra’s systems, equipment or services are often mission-critical to the successful operation of the platform to which they contribute. In turn, this mission-criticality secures Ultra’s positions for the long term which underpin the superior financial performance of the Group.

Ultra offers support to its customers through the design, delivery and support phases of a programme. Ultra businesses have a high degree of operational autonomy where the local management teams are empowered to devise and implement competitive strategies that reflect their expertise in their specific niches. The Group has a small head office and executive team that provide to the individual businesses the same agile, responsive support that they provide to customers as well as formulating Ultra’s overarching, corporate strategy.

Across the Group’s three divisions, the major market sectors in which Ultra operates are:

Defence: Ultra supplies advanced electronic and electrical systems and equipment to coalition defence forces around the world. The Group innovates to provide specialist capabilities that are superior to those available to the enemy. By focusing on delivering comparative military advantage, Ultra can gain market share and exploit the headroom for growth that is available in defence budgets worldwide.

Security and cyber: Ultra provides highly differentiated systems and capabilities to the broad security, intelligence and cyber market. Driven by the actions of rogue states, terrorist groups and organised crime, governments worldwide are focusing expenditure preferentially on addressing these threats. Ultra has highly specialised capabilities in secure communications, networks and high grade cryptographic equipment, key management systems and surveillance and intelligence gathering systems.

Transport: Ultra provides specialist software, systems and equipment for use in mass passenger transport systems. This includes high integrity real-time controls for civil aircraft, advanced IT solutions for modern airports and trackside power equipment for transit rail systems. Demand in all areas is driven by rising populations in affluent and developing regions of the world.

Energy: Countries around the world are addressing the strategic need to have secure access to increasing amounts of low carbon energy. Ultra has a range of safety critical sensors and controls used in existing and new build nuclear reactors. The Group has innovative portable energy sources powered by readily available propane gas. Ultra also has specialist sensors, derived from defence applications, which are highly effective in the underwater environment at hydrocarbon mapping.


Further information about Forensic Technology:

Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistics identification more than 20 years ago and continues to be a leader in ballistics and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. We partner with hundreds of law enforcement agencies in over 65 countries and territories, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

Launched in 2013, IBIS® TRAX-HD3D™ is the latest generation of IBIS technology which incorporates all of the benefits of IBIS and raises them to an entirely new dimension of crime solving value. Using increased automation and new high-definition 3D imaging, IBIS TRAX-HD3D has the ability to capture crucial data at the nanometer level for better correlation accuracy. And its legacy 2D imaging leverages visualization and ensures backward compatibility with earlier IBIS systems.

In 2011, Forensic Technology acquired Projectina Ltd. a specialized Swiss company in the field of computation, development and manufacture of optical and opto-electronical components and systems for demanding technical areas. Together, Forensic Technology and Projectina offer a wider range of products and services that serve the law enforcement community.

 

 

US Attorney Press Release: Regional HIDTA Award Given for Omaha Gang and Firearm Crackdown

The following is a press release issued by United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg, District of Nebraska.

February 18, 2014

department of justice seal resized 600United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska, Deborah R. Gilg, announces that the “Wipe It Down” investigation, partnering the Omaha Police Department and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), has received a regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, (HIDTA) award. An awards ceremony was held today at the United States Attorney’s Office honoring 24 investigators and prosecutors involved in this case. The operation, “Wipe It Down” was named as such when a member of one notorious street gang, after selling a firearm to an undercover officer, told them to be sure they “wiped it down” to remove incriminating fingerprints.


At the ceremony, United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg commented, “The outstanding work done by this collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies disrupted a major gang influence in Omaha. This demonstrates law enforcement teamwork at its best.”

In January 2013, ATF and the Omaha Police Department began a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA) sponsored violent crime task force in response to the firearms and gang-related violence in Omaha. The objective of this HIDTA task force is to combat this violence and use federal statutes against gang members who utilize firearms to protect, intimidate, and further their criminal enterprise. Over 50 law enforcement officers and agents participated in the investigation and the execution of arrest warrants and search warrants in this investigation.


This investigation began with every known gang member or associate in the Omaha area, who was arrested with a firearm, being interviewed by Omaha Police and ATF investigators. There were numerous undercover purchases of firearms and narcotics from active gang members and their associates. Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) analysis of these firearms began to link these firearms to numerous homicides, felony assaults and drive by shooting events in and around the Omaha metro. To date, IBIS has linked 182 shooting events, 14 of which relate to homicides and 47 of which directly involved members of one particular street gang.


As a result of this investigation to date, 62 firearms, approximately 1.5 pounds of marijuana, and 310 grams of crack cocaine have been purchased or seized from known gang members and their associates.


In September and October 2013, 27 members of associated and rival criminal street gangs were indicted on various federal charges. The Douglas County Attorney’s Office charged three defendants on state charges. Arresting these 30 gang members represents a considerable impact into the operational ability of these gangs. Seven of the arrested persons are among OPD’s 15 most wanted, related to street gang activity. These 30 persons have a combined criminal history totaling 141 prior arrests, 36 prior felony convictions and 80 prior misdemeanor convictions. Five of the defendants were identified as straw firearms purchasers and were responsible for purchasing 25 firearms for violent street gang members.


“This investigation is an example of our commitment to address the problem of violent gangs whose trade is guns, drugs, and violence”, said ATF Special Agent in Charge, Gregory K. Gant. “The ATF and our partners will continue to work together to pursue, investigate and dismantle entire violent criminal organizations.”


These arrests were a result of the collaborative effort of hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Douglas County Attorney’s Office. Thousands of man hours have already been invested, with many more to come as we continue our work to dismantle the violent street gangs which continue to terrorize our community.


###

Contact: Joe Jeanette, Law Enforcement Coordinator (402-661-3725)

Forensic Technology Seeks the Next Recipient of the Calvin H. Goddard Award

Montreal, QC, Canada (PRWEB) January 15, 2014

Forensic Technology is very proud to once again open nominations for the Calvin H. Goddard Award for Excellence in Firearm Identification. In its 13th year, this annual contest recognizes excellence in the area of firearm identification. The prize consists of a scholarship to attend AFTE’s (Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners) 2014 Training Seminar to be held in Seattle, Washington, May 11-16, 2014.

Open to submissions from all over the world, the Calvin H. Goddard Award is attributed to an individual or a group of individuals who has attained excellence through sustained superior performance, the exemplary handling of a firearm related case, the implementation of best practices, or by providing the field of firearm identification with an outstanding or unique contribution.

The event has been held since 2001, and previous winners of this competition include John G. Ward, Lucien Haag, and most recently, Sgt. Luke Laterza of the Newark Police Department. Sgt. Laterza won for allowing the Newark to reach 2000 NIBIN hits since 2004 and reduce their evidence backlog to zero.

The selection committee is comprised of two senior AFTE members, two Forensic Technology employees with extensive firearm identification experience, as well as the presiding recipient of the Calvin H. Goddard Award.

Submissions are being accepted until April 4th, 2014.

Forensic Technology is extremely proud of this event as it celebrates an area of law enforcement that is as vital as ever, given the proliferation of shootings and the increase in gun-related violence around the world.

For those involved in the field of forensic ballistics, the fact that this award is named after Major Calvin H. Goddard is significant, as Major Goddard is credited with founding the science of firearm identification.

For more detailed information on the Calvin H. Goddard Award including eligibility criteria, the scholarship, and the nomination process visit: http://www.goddardaward.com.

For more information about Forensic Technology, visit:
http://www.forensictechnology.com

U.S. Government Awards $73 Million Contract to Forensic Technology, Inc.

(PRWEB) November 08, 2013

Forensic Technology Inc. is honored to have been selected by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as the service provider for the U.S. National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) program.

The US$73.4 million contract, awarded on October 11, 2013, ensures that the NIBIN program will continue to receive dedicated support services from the Forensic Technology Global Customer Services and Training Center in Florida. In addition, the contract also includes the timely maintenance of NIBIN and the provision of the most up-to-date software for the NIBIN program until 2018.

The NIBIN program uses IBIS® (the Integrated Ballistics Identification System) which is designed, manufactured and sold by Montreal-based company Forensic Technology Inc. IBIS compares images of ballistic evidence (bullets and cartridge casings) obtained from crime scenes and recovered firearms.

“Since 1991 we have had a strong partnership with ATF, but the relationship extends beyond that of vendor and buyer. Working closely together, we ensure that deployments and services are as streamlined as possible and that efforts and dollars are put where they will do the most good,” explains Robert Walsh, president of Forensic Technology Inc. “Because the leadership and management at ATF is strongly focused on fighting crime, our company and NIBIN can look forward to a future where the United States has the most advanced, efficient, and effective automated ballistics identification system at their disposal.”

Networked across the U.S. at over 130 locations, IBIS systems form the NIBIN network that enables investigators to link crime scenes, suspects, and firearms locally, state-wide, and across the nation. IBIS is also able to communicate with systems outside a country’s borders, thus allowing law enforcement agencies to share ballistic information internationally.

About Forensic Technology
Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistics identification more than 20 years ago and continues to be a leader in ballistics and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. We partner with hundreds of law enforcement agencies in nearly 70 countries and territories, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

Launched in 2013, IBIS® TRAX-HD3D™ is the latest generation of IBIS technology which incorporates all of the benefits of IBIS and raises them to an entirely new dimension of crime solving value. Using increased automation and new high-definition 3D imaging, IBIS TRAX-HD3D has the ability to capture crucial data at the nanometer level for better correlation accuracy. And its legacy 2D imaging leverages visualization and ensures backward compatibility with earlier IBIS systems.

INTERPOL Symposium Targets Transnational Gun Crime

INTERPOL and Canadian-based Forensic Technology co-host international conference for law enforcement officials in Montreal.

Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) May 10, 2013

Armed criminals are able to move freely. Whether it is gun-runners walking the bridge from the US to Canada, organized criminals driving from Spain to Portugal, or smugglers boating from one Caribbean island to another, criminals cross borders with impunity, while police investigations stall.

Until now.

The INTERPOL Firearm Forensics Symposium (IFFS) is being held May 12-15,2013 in Montreal Canada. IFFS is a gathering of nearly 300 professionals, academics, and policy makers from over 70 countries who are determined to make their streets safer from firearm violence. The primary goal of this meeting is to help countries improve their collection of firearms “intelligence”.

IFFS is co-hosted by INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, and Forensic Technology Inc, the world leader in crime solving technology solutions, based in Montreal, Canada.

“Connections between firearm crimes and other criminal activities, from corruption and organized crime to human trafficking and terrorism – are evident. Firearm related crimes know no borders, requiring a global response – one which INTERPOL is ideally placed to provide,” explains Ronald K. Noble, INTERPOL Secretary General, “INTERPOL's Ballistic Information Network (IBIN) enables front line officers to detect connections between crimes which can otherwise go undetected. It is another perfect example of the global tools and services provided by INTERPOL in support of our mission: ‘connecting police for a safer world’.”

The IBIN network is powered by IBIS technology, designed and developed in Montreal by Forensic Technology. IBIS has helped law enforcement agencies link hundreds of thousands of firearms, suspects, and cases, and has been used to capture millions of pieces of evidence.

“Our commitment to serving the law enforcement community does not end with our products and support. It extends to partnerships, research projects, and, most importantly, this symposium,” says Forensic Technology president, Robert A. Walsh, “ IFFS brings together unique experiences, ideas, and innovations. Sharing successes and best practices can only enrich our work, and help us all in our mission to seek justice for those who deserve it most.”

About Forensic Technology Inc.
For over 20 years, Forensic Technology has been relentless in its mission to research, design, build, and provide solutions for a safer society. Our IBIS® automated ballistic imaging system, installed in nearly 600 locations in over 70 countries, has been responsible for helping law enforcement agencies link hundreds of thousands of firearms, suspects, and cases, and has been used to capture millions of pieces of evidence. And now, our valuable partnership with INTERPOL is enabling investigators to pursue criminals and investigations across international borders by helping member countries share ballistic information with one another.

The 2013 Calvin H. Goddard Award Nominations are Open

Forensic Technology opens submissions for the Calvin H. Goddard Award for excellence in firearm identification. Award to be presented in late June at AFTE Training seminar in Albuquerque.

(PRWEB) April 23, 2013

Forensic Technology is very proud to once again open nominations for the Calvin H. Goddard Award for Excellence in Firearm Identification.

Now in its 12th year, this annual contest recognizes excellence in the area of firearm identification. The prize consists of a scholarship to attend AFTE’s (Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners) 2013 Training Seminar to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 23-28, 2013. Submissions are being accepted until June 7th, 2013.

The selection committee is comprised of two senior AFTE members, two Forensic Technology employees with extensive firearm identification experience, as well as the presiding recipient of the Calvin H. Goddard Award.

Open to submissions from all over the world, the Calvin H. Goddard Award is attributed to an individual or a group of individuals that has attained excellence through sustained superior performance, the exemplary handling of a firearm related case, the implementation of best practices, or by providing the field of firearm identification with an outstanding or unique contribution.

The event has been held since 2001, and previous winners of this competition include John G. Ward, Bruce Moran, and most recently, renowned Firearm Examiner Luke Haag.

Forensic Technology is extremely proud of this event as it celebrates an area of law enforcement that is as vital as ever, given the proliferation of shootings and the increase in gun-related violence around the world.

For those of us involved in the field of forensic ballistics, the fact that this award is named after Major Calvin H. Goddard is significant, as Major Goddard is credited with founding the science of firearm identification.

We invite you to visit the Calvin H. Goddard Award Web site at: http://www.goddardaward.com. There, you will find more-detailed information regarding matters such as eligibility criteria, the scholarship awarded, and the nomination process.

Forensic Technology Named One of Best 50 Employers in Canada

Study by Queen’s University School of Business and AON Hewitt focused on more than 200 organizations across Canada and measured employee engagement.

Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) December 13, 2012 — Forensic Technology is proud to have been recognized once more as one of the Best 50 Small and Medium Employers in Canada for 2013. Sponsored by Queen’s University School of Business, Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing and AON Hewitt, the study focused on more than 200 small and medium organizations across Canada and measured the level of engagement among employees.

According to AON Hewitt’s definition, employees are engaged when they say positive things about their organization, are committed to stay with their current employer, and strive to go “the extra mile” to contribute to business success.

Forensic Technology ranked #34 on the list and was one of only 8 Quebec companies in this category.

Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistics identification over 20 years ago and continues to be the world leader in ballistics and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. The company partners with hundreds of public safety agencies in nearly 70 countries around the world, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

“Our research shows that high employee engagement results in lower turnover, greater employee productivity, increased customer satisfaction, less absenteeism and, in many cases, greater economic returns,” said Neil Crawford, a partner at Aon Hewitt and leader of the Best Employers in Canada study. "With that in mind, developing a roadmap for raising engagement is becoming a priority for many employers."

Robert Walsh, president of Forensic Technology explains: “Being a best employer is no longer ‘nice to be’ – it is a strategic imperative for us and plays a significant part in our continued success as a company. We take great pride in being one of the best again this year.”

The average engagement score for the Best 50 Small and Medium Employers was 84 per cent, while the average for other organizations participating in the study was 61 per cent.

To learn more about Forensic Technology, please visit http://www.ForensicTechnology.com.

To learn more about the Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada, please visit http://www.bsmestudycanada.com

Police Link Crimes, Guns & Suspects Across National Borders

Interpol and Forensic Technology partnership helps police continue investigations over borders and across the world.

Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) November 05, 2012

A violent transnational gang, operating between Spain and Portugal, has been stopped thanks to diligent police work, rigorous cross border protocols, and an innovative new-technology-based program called the INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network (IBIN). IBIN proved its value when it counted most, on the streets of Portugal and Spain, where police using IBIS® (Integrated Ballistics Identification System) technology were able to share and leverage their ballistic data through IBIN to develop two suspects in Spain who were responsible for a series of violent carjackings and a murder in Portugal. Discovering a link between these crimes would not have been possible just a year ago.

Here is how the events unfolded:

In early 2004, a crime spree began in the Braga region of northern Portugal. What began with car thefts and property damage, the severity escalated over the next few months to armed robberies, carjackings, attempted murder, and murder.

Investigators suspected that a mobile, organized gang was involved in many crimes that were taking place in the region, but they had no way of being certain. Detectives from Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria began canvassing small towns and villages across the area, asking local police departments if they knew of recent firearm crimes. Some did, but thinking that the events were random and isolated, local police had not done much with the seemingly “insignificant” cartridge case evidence. Although collected at crime scenes, the evidence was never entered into IBIS. As the investigation progressed from Braga to Freamunde, investigators gathered dozens of cartridge cases as evidence.

Upon their return to Lisbon, the investigators used IBIS at the Laboratorio de Policia Cientifica (LPC) to image the cartridge cases and store their unique digital signatures into a database. Then, IBIS was used to compare the digital signatures against all other digital signatures in the database. IBIS is able to compare thousands upon thousands of digital signatures at speeds well beyond human capacity, and is able to link evidence to firearms, crimes to crimes, and cases to suspects. Using IBIS technology, what previously took firearm examiners months is now accomplished in minutes.

By 2008, the story the evidence painted was crucial for investigators. The correlation results told investigators a shocking story. “What originally appeared as isolated crimes became a correlation between 50 crimes, including homicide, attempted homicide and attempted murder against police officers,” explains Fernando Dias, the LPC firearm examiner. In all, nine firearms were responsible for the 50 crimes that had occurred across northern Portugal.

“Once the investigation began, and it was working well, we lined up all the cases as being linked,” said Dias. “A lot of elements come into play during an investigation. It’s not always just ballistics. We work closely to develop intelligence with investigators and we have an intelligence section that puts all that information together.”
In particular, forensic specialists identified a specific 9mm firearm as having been used in nine separate incidents in Portuga, including the murder of a local man, Joao Ferreira Leite, 63 years old. Three cartridge cases were recovered from the crime scene.

The investigation focused on a mobile, organized crime gang, but the suspects eluded police. These gangs are common in both Portugal and Spain. They are family-based transnational organizations with members in the 20–40- year-old range. By their nature, they are difficult to investigate given their nomadic tendencies and their habit to live on the fringe of society.

Although police in Portugal could link all the cases, they did not have any suspects. The trail had gone cold—as had the cases.

In almost 70 nations, IBIS technology helps countries link cases across cities, provinces, and countries, through networked access to a centralized database. Both Spain and Portugal adopted this technology early and has made excellent use of it within their country. But now, through the use of the newly configured INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network (IBIN), INTERPOL member countries can now search the digital signatures of evidence in the database of another member country.

Both Spain and Portugal recognized the benefits of joining IBIN and sought membership early in the life of the program. Spain’s Cuerpo Nacional de Policia (CNP) joined immediately in 2009, and Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria followed in late 2011. Sharing a 1200 km border with its neighbor, each country knew that the evidence in one country might help an investigation in the other. Also, Spain established crime gun protocols that require all seized firearms and ballistics evidence to be entered into its national IBIS database.

What happened next is a testament to dedicated processes, innovative technology, and exceptional police work.

In 2008, in the Madrid, Spain suburb of Fuenlabrada, a Ford Scorpio refused to stop at a police checkpoint. When police eventually halted the vehicle, they found drugs and a single cartridge case. The car’s two suspects were arrested for possession of narcotics and were subsequently photographed and fingerprinted.

Following protocol, police for the CNP submitted the found cartridge case to the ballistics lab in Madrid. Using IBIS, the evidence was imaged and stored in the database.

When both Spain and Portugal joined IBIN, this cartridge case was among the first to be correlated.

“I was notified of the hit when I arrived in the morning and was told it was a potential hit with the National Police in Spain,” recalls Dias. “I received a call from the CNP in Madrid, and they offered to bring a cast of the cartridge case here to Lisbon. Once they did, we confirmed that it was indeed a hit: the gun that fired that cartridge in Spain was the same involved in all the cases we had linked in Portugal, including the murder of Mr. Ferreira Leite.”

Through IBIN, the cartridge case in the Ford Scorpio and the cartridge cases at the murder scene were linked not only to each other, but to a total of 10 crimes. These IBIN hits were integral in allowing the two bordering countries to generate significant investigative leads that resulted in the dismantling of the organized gang.
Armed with the identification of the gang suspects obtained by the Spanish police in Fuenlabrada, the Policia Judiciaria of Portugal finally had the information that had been eluding them for years.

This connection would have never happened had not people like chief Inspector Jose Dominguez of the CNP played a vital role. “This case demonstrates that in a territory with no frontiers (such as the EU), criminals move without borders, thus a crime in Spain links with many crimes in Portugal,” explains Dominguez, “Criminals are crossing from one to the other without any restrictions. And that’s what we are going to do as well.”

The detectives and forensic personnel of the CNP recognized that seemingly insignificant evidence can hold the key to solving a case. Many police agencies would have been satisfied with the drugs in the Scorpio and would have discounted the ballistic evidence—especially since no firearm was found with the two suspects. The CNP protocol that treats each piece of evidence as though it were involved in a crime was the key to breaking this case open.

“Previously work like this would have taken years. With IBIN, this could be solved in a week,” beams Dominguez, “Now they are going to think twice. In prisons, word will spread that the police are everywhere.”

The suspects identified in Spain are currently serving sentences in Portugal for other gang-related activity. As of September, 2012, Portuguese judges are reviewing the additional crimes to determine how the suspects’ sentences will be affected. The disclosure laws surrounding the adjudication process prohibit the release of suspects’ names and further details.

Fernando Dias is a satisfied man. The transnational Gypsy gang that terrorized regions of northern Portugal no longer exists and more than half of the members are in prison. “The link with Spain was the final piece in the puzzle that allowed us to put an end to this gang,” he boasts, “They are gone. Finished.”

Advanced Ballistics Technology Helps Forensic Police Solve More Crime, Win Awards

Forensic Technology: August Vollmer Award for Excellence recognizes multiple forensic labs using 3D ballistics imaging system.

 San Diego, California (PRWEB) October 12, 2012

One of the most prestigious awards presented to forensic experts has been awarded to two separate ballistics labs as a direct result of their exceptional use of IBIS® TRAX-3D™.

Presented yearly at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, the August Vollmer Award for Excellence in Forensic Science is awarded in five categories.

Last week, the Boston Police Department won for demonstrating Innovation in Forensic Technology, and the Philippine National Police took home the Significant Investigative Value in a Major Crime award.

Accepted by Captain Dowd of the Boston Police Department, the Innovation in Forensic Technology award recognized his agency for its participation in the use and evaluation of IBIS® BULLETTRAX-3D™. The evaluation proved that IBIS technology enhanced the ability of the BPD Ballistic Unit to connect two crimes that were previously thought to be unrelated. Moreover, IBIS proved to be an invaluable part of the department’s crime-solving ability by providing investigators with leads they would not have otherwise had. The never-before-used 3D bullet imaging and comparison functionalities let the BPD link 35 crimes, many of which were homicides and aggravated assaults.

The Significant Investigative Value in a Major Crime award was accepted by Superintendent Sabong and Director Sarmiento for the Philippine National Police’s work on the “3K killings”. From 2005 to 2008,
38 people were murdered across 10 cities and 7 provinces. From the hundreds of pieces of ballistic evidence, investigators were able to recognize the repeated use of a particular weapon in the killings. This “alpha gun”, as it came to be known, eluded police for years. In 2011, once the PNP implemented new protocols and acquired an IBIS TRAX-3D system, investigators soon realized that, by linking evidence and firearms, the weapons used in the 3K killings were responsible for 91, not 36 murders.

IBIS TRAX-3D is the latest generation of IBIS technology which provides law enforcement agencies with tremendous crime solving value. Through increased automation and new 3D imaging (with the ability to take accurate measurements at the nanometer level and capture more crucial data for better correlation accuracy), IBIS TRAX-3D has become the world standard in automated ballistic identification.

“The BPD and PNP and their outstanding use of IBIS TRAX-3D are an excellent examples of how technology can help police link firearm crimes and identify suspects,” said Robert Walsh, President of Forensic Technology WAI Inc. “Seeing customers win the August Vollmer Award for work in which IBIS played an integral role is validating, but the real reward is getting violent criminals off the street.”

About Forensic Technology

Forensic Technology pioneered automated ballistic identification more than 20 years ago and continues to be a leader in ballistic and firearm identification technologies that promote a safer society. We partner with hundreds of public safety agencies in nearly 70 countries and territories, providing cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

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