New Vanderburgh Sheriff’s Office Detective to Tackle Gun Crime; Work with City, Federal Agents
This person will work alongside the local federal ATF officers to fight the illegal sale of firearms; and link gun crimes to individuals, using advanced technology
This Sheriff’s Office detective is assigned full time to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) local task force to investigate gun crimes in Vanderburgh County.
Because of his specific job his name won’t be shared publicly.
Sheriff Noah Robinson said instead of investigating crime scenes — he’ll be looking in-depth at the evidence of firearm crimes, such as shell casings and the weapons themselves.
“It's his job to try to tie this gun to other crime scenes to link this gun to a specific individual using technology the ATF has, and to be more of a support role.”
This technology includes the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which “automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner,” according to the ATF.
Robinson said another important role will be investigating illegal gun sales whether someone has purchased a gun for someone who can’t legally own one.
“… and attempting to get a handle on some of these weapons that are illegal, such as ghost guns or guns that have been illegally modified to fire automatically.”
This detective can even investigate weapons with damaged serial numbers.
The Vanderburgh County Council decided to allocate the funds needed for the position following a presentation from the Sheriff, said council president Jill Hahn.
“The hope is preventative maintenance,” she said. “That's what you would like to have it be is that the more that there's a legal presence in our community, this is another tool to prevent and deter crime.”
The Evansville Police Department already has an ATF detective, but Robinson said the city is within the county, and he didn’t want to leave the task of fighting gun crimes to them alone.
He added that often, guns are stolen from the county and taken into the city to commit crimes.
"… a burglary at the county where someone's gun cabinet is cleaned out, a lot of those guns will end up at a crime scene inside the city or on other crime scenes around the region," Robinson said. "And so it's a community problem. It's not a county or a city problem.”
“So having the city and the county to both have these positions, they will run parallel," Hahn said. "And sometimes they may have to work together for the same reasons to try to get to solve a crime.”