NewsLocal News


BPD unveils new technology to track illegal guns and identify problematic distributors

Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 18:15:43-05

BALTIMORE — "The shear amount of violence that we see is unacceptable," said Mayor Brandon Scott.

Saturday, a 10-year-old was shot in the chest. Monday, a 12-year-old was shot in the arm, and Tuesday it was 17-year-old shot in a public intersection.

"There is nothing harder than talking to a parent whose child has become a victim of violence," said Scott.

A new intelligence tool offers hope to stifle the flow of illegal guns into Baltimore and reduce the violence.

Over the last year, the Baltimore Police Department has been working with Everytown for Gun Safety to develop a portal that integrates data from BPD’s E-Trace system, ballistic evince and ShotSpotter data to give detectives a full picture of the guns fueling violence in Baltimore.

"To understand where guns are coming from and how they are connected to the crimes committed in our city," said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

Scott said most of the guns that are used in crimes in Baltimore are not purchased in the city or even the state.

"We have an obligation to focus on the source of the fire arms, not just the outcome. Without getting a handle on the supply and flow of illegal guns into our streets, we will not be able to get a handle on the violence," said Scott.

Baltimore is the first city to have a tool like this.

Though the goal is similar to the disgraced Gun Trace Task Force: to get guns off the streets, officials said this will be very different. The unit is based in-house.

"These folks are not going to be out on the streets, ripping and running, jumping out on people. That is not what this is about. This is an investigative tool to build cases so that we can disrupt the flow of guns into the city of Baltimore," said Scott.

BPD will dedicate a sergeant and two detectives to work with the program, with oversight from a major.

"We will have weekly assessments of the work that they’re doing and we will be working with other jurisdictions, state and federal, to make sure that we’re building good quality cases and that there’s oversight," said Harrison.

The portal is ready to go and the department just needs to vet and select the detectives that will work with it, which will take less than a month.

BPD has leads in the cases involving the young people getting shot, but no persons of interest. If you have information, call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.