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GWINNETT POLICE ANNOUNCES GUN CRIMES INITIATIVE
(Lawrenceville, Ga., March 6, 2023) – The Gwinnett Police Department has begun a new gun crime initiative to combat gun violence in our county. While violent crime was down overall last year, several tragic incidents involving young people killed because of gun violence motivated us to do more in this space. This initiative will be data and intelligence driven and leverage technology to enhance our ability to connect specific weapons to criminal actions and those who perpetrate these crimes.
On February 1, 2023, the Gwinnett Police Department formed the Gun Crimes Unit. The unit consists of two dedicated investigators who investigate gun related incidents. We learned through our analysis that in 83% of gun incidents reported, no one was hurt and there were very few or no investigative leads. Most investigative resources were being directed, rightly, toward cases where someone was hurt or killed; but we recognize that there is value in investigating gun crimes that don’t result in injury by connecting those weapons to specific suspects.
Gwinnett has invested in the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) which allows us to analyze shell casings collected at crime scenes and by working with the ATF we are able to upload our analysis to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). This cutting-edge technology allows us to connect specific guns to specific casings and potentially to the person possessing those guns.
Uniform officers have recently received updated training regarding collecting shell casings from scenes of gun related incidents. Those shell casings will be analyzed by gun crime detectives to connect them to specific guns. They will be working closely with the Gwinnett PD Gang Unit as they investigate gun thefts, illegal possession, and illegal sales.
We looked at how guns are being obtained by those who cannot lawfully possess them and learned that 91% of guns stolen in the county were stolen from vehicle. To combat this issue, we need the public’s help. The Community Affairs Section has begun offering firearm safety and security classes to Gwinnett residents. The Gwinnett Police Department is also offering free gun locks to all residents available at all precincts and at Headquarters.
As we work on this initiative we have engaged with various stakeholders such as the Gwinnett District Attorney’s Office, who we work closely with on criminal prosecutions. Community Affairs also plans to work with Gwinnett Public Schools to offer gun safety and security information where appropriate. Together, we can reduce gun violence in our community. The Gwinnett Police Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases to the fullest.