BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Following a recent spike in gun violence in Birmingham, some neighboring police departments have expressed criticism and accused the Birmingham Police Department of not fully using resources to solve crimes.
The conversation is about a system called the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. NIBIN is a system where officers can compare bullet shell casings from shootings to link the bullets back to the gun used to try and find the shooter. Calera’s Police Chief tweeted a strong message to Birmingham Police highlighting the number of recent deaths and accused the department of not using that system and not effectively tracing guns in crimes.
“Recovering shell casings, entering them into the system, and following up on those leads aggressively is an important part. Not following up is like taking fingerprints and not using them to prove crimes. You have to do all of it,” said Chief David Hyche, Calera Police Department.
Chief Patrick Smith strongly refuted that claim at Thursday’s news conference about recent crimes, saying the department uses it, but that alone won’t simply solve cases.
“While it may connect the gun, it won’t connect the shooter. Just like whoever made that comment may have their take on things - I handle Birmingham. Maybe they should handle their department that’s all I can say.”
Chief Smith says in urban areas guns change hands often so it’s not simple to pinpoint a shooter.
Police say 7 people died in shootings since Saturday and over 10 people were hurt....most of them younger people. Leaders say they have made progress in those cases to identify people responsible, but they are also asking for the community’s help.