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Crime Gun Task Force touts reduction in violent crime

Crime Gun Task Force touts reduction in violent crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Assistant Chief Chris Bailey of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says the Crime Gun Task Force has seized 366 firearms and arrested 264 people in 2023.

The seized firearms have been or will soon be processed for ballistics in a lab. The information is sent to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for entry into a national database.

Of the 366 seized firearms, all but 31 had been used in a firearm-related crime.

During a Tuesday morning press conference at the Marion County Emergency Operation Center on North Shadeland Avenue, Bailey said, “Why are these arrest important? Because no one becomes a target of this task force unless they or the weapon they possess have been used at least twice in firearms incidents against our neighbors. These are violent individuals, and they make themselves known to us by their behavior.”

The assistant chief said information from the task force recently led to the arrest of 42 people in Indiana and Arizona. In that effort, police say, they seized more than 100 firearms, 16 machine gun conversion devices, 72 pounds of fentanyl, 117 pounds of methamphetamine, and 453 pounds of marijuana that was headed for the streets of central Indiana and beyond.

Bailey said, “We know we had over 850 drug overdose deaths in 2022. A vast majority of those deaths are the result of fentanyl. It is ravaging communities and destroying families, and that is why it is a top priority of this task force.”

IMPD started the Indianapolis Crime Gun Intelligence Center in January 2019 as a way to make connections of shooters to firearms used at multiple crime scenes. The task force In July 2021 was expanded to include several police and sheriff’s departments from counties surrounding Indianapolis. The expansion broadened the scope of the task force and narrowed the focus.

Zach Myers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said, “And this intelligence allows us to target the right individuals in the right location to improve community safety. Gun violence in particular doesn’t just rob us of the victims, it robs the families and the communities, it robs the entire community of the feeling of safety and the ability to just go freely about their lives in the community that we all deserve.”

The backbone of the regional Crime Gun Task Force is ballistic testing. I-Team 8 reported earlier this year how firearms brought into IMPD’s property room are tested for ballistics. That information is handed over to the federal government as part of the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. The department says they only test guns seized or recovered from a crime scene.

News release

“Community: Indiana Crime Gun Task Force continues to disrupt cycle of violence in Central Indiana 

“Indiana Crime Gun Task Force (ICGTF) has confiscated more than 880 illegal crime guns and arrested 775 individuals since inception in 2021 

“INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Assistant Chief Chris Bailey, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary Myers, Fishers Police Chief Ed Gebhart, Special Agent in Charge Daryl S. McCormick of the ATF Columbus Field Division, and other Indiana Crime Gun Task Force (ICGTF) members came together to highlight the achievements from the regional task force. 

“‘Violent crime rates in Indianapolis are in their second straight year of decline thanks in part to this broad-based, multi-agency partnership,’ said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘Crimefighters at every level have collaborated to take hundreds of illegal guns off our streets and put behind bars those who would victimize our community.’

“Since its inception in July 2021, task force members have tracked down hundreds of illegal crime guns and shooting suspects, many who have traveled across county lines. ICGTF is a partnership of law enforcement officers and analysts from several Central Indiana law enforcement agencies. This collaboration addresses violent crime through a comprehensive strategy, deploying innovative approaches to locating suspects and evidence related to violent crimes and illegal possession of firearms.

 ”‘I want to commend all the detectives, officers and other law enforcement officials for their relentless efforts to keep our communities safe,’ said IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey. ‘By working together, we are making huge strides in getting illegal guns, narcotics and violent offenders off our streets and I know we will continue to make our communities safer come next year,’ he said. 

“From its inception in July 2021 through December 6, 2023, the ICGTF has 

seized 885 illegal firearms

arrested 775 individuals

“From January 1, 2023 through December 6, 2023, the ICGTF has proven to be successful in removing crime guns out of the hands of criminals. Officers have:

seized 366 illegal firearms

31 of the firearms seized are eligible for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network or NIBIN. 

arrested 264 individuals. 

“ICGTF is a partnership between the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), Indiana State Police (ISP), Fishers Police Department, Carmel Police Department, Avon Police Department, Plainfield Police Department, Zionsville Police Department, Lawrence Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Attorney’s Office, Marion County Prosecutor Office (MCPO), Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, Marion County Probation and Community Corrections. It is comprised of officers, detectives, and analysts from several of the agencies.

“IMPD began the Indianapolis Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) in January 2019. This innovative model for analyzing gun evidence to identify serial shooters and disrupt the cycle of violence was initiated as part of Mayor Hogsett’s violence reduction strategy.

“As a result of CGIC’s success, in July 2021, CGIC officially become a regional task force now known as the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force.

“The expansion was possible because of the support and funding by the Indiana Legislature, specifically Representative Greg Steuerwald, who initially sponsored House Bill 1558. The partnership allowed for a coordinated and uniform approach in processing, collecting, and analyzing gun evidence throughout Central Indiana.”

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department