PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police, hoping to stem the tide of gun violence in the city, are now collaborating with federal law enforcement officials to get more guns off the street. Additional resources were unveiled today, and with the city’s budget hearings coming next week and the police department wanting more money for technology.
“Quality evidence and quality testing leads to transparent policing,” Philadelphia Police Forensic Science Director Mike Garvey said.READ MORE: Some Philadelphia Residents Facing Fines For Piled Up Curbside Trash As Pickups Delayed
Philadelphia Police, the ATF, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office showcased a new mobile forensic lab they say will help them cut through a backlog of cases involving guns.
“We can’t keep up,” Garvey said.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that this becomes a very manageable issue and that we’re continually increasing the timeliness of the leads,” said Matthew Varisco with the ATF.
So how does it work? A shot is fired from a weapon recovered from a crime scene then the bullet is input into a database.
“What we want to capture from the firearm is the fire pit impression, the preach face mark and ejector mark that happens when the cartridge case is fired,” one official said.READ MORE: Sixers Force Game 7 With Gritty Road Win Over Hawks
If it matches an existing impression, it could be a lead for investigators.
“The end goal here is not to only solve crimes that have occurred but to also prevent dangerous individuals from committing future crimes,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
The Philadelphia Police Department says the tech is the same they currently have inside their forensic building in West Poplar, the roughly quarter-million-dollar trucks are paid for by the feds.
Outlaw says the mayor has additional tech funds earmarked in the next city budget that goes before City Council next week.
“Obviously, this isn’t something that we’ll be able to sustain — well, hopefully, you can stay forever. But I don’t think it’s realistic that we’d be able to maintain this over long periods of time,” Outlaw said.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Dirt Bike-Riding Suspect In West Philadelphia Deadly Shooting
PPD blames the backlog on staffing issues but also the skyrocketing number of gun-involved crimes. They say this is to help get them up to speed.