Ohio’s Vigorous Response to Violence: Getting Police the Tools They Need
The other day I posted an article here in “The Blotter” entitled: How Vigorous is Your State’s Response to Violence?
I quoted author and award-winning LA Times Reporter, Jill Leovey from her book, Ghettoside: Investigating A Homicide Epidemic: “Where the criminal justice system fails to respond vigorously to violent injury and death, homicide becomes endemic.”
I wrote about what the author’s words meant to me, that a jurisdiction that fails to respond vigorously to crimes of violence will suffer the consequences of sustained and higher levels of violence, injury, and death.
Among the consequences that I envisioned, were the serious risks posed to the fulfillment of crucially important outcomes such as justice for the victims, resolution for their loved ones, and peace for their neighbors.
I wrote about how important it is to thoroughly and systematically investigate crimes involving firearms and to search for and collect both forensic and other relevant data – in other words, “crime gun intelligence”.
I wrote about how over the past ten years, lawmakers in five states – New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Indiana, and Illinois – have passed laws requiring that those crucial bits and pieces of crime gun intelligence be collected and timely managed as called for by some law enforcement agencies and organizations.
I called attention to the fact, that there are many other states where big “P” state-wide policy isn’t driving the response to gun crime.
I questioned, could it be that big “P” policymakers would rather spend their time, arguing over whether there should be “more guns or fewer guns” instead of how to better seek justice, resolution, and peace?
I raised the possibility that maybe - just maybe – it’s because most folks think that the thorough and systematic investigation of all gun-related crimes is already being done everywhere.
But alas, I concluded it’s not being done – plain and simple - it’s not.
So today, I come across this news piece from WLWT5 News in Columbus: https://www.wlwt.com/article/ohio-high-tech-solving-violent-crimes/39602638.
It’s about a new initiative that I view as a giant step in mounting a vigorous state-wide response to violence. One that should give all Ohioans affected by violent crimes involving the use of firearms a better shot at justice, resolution, and peace.
The news piece features Governor Mike DeWine saying that in the last 18 months in Ohio more than 1000 people have been injured in shootings and another 650 were killed. He said that shell casings are often recovered from crime scenes and never tested or even entered into the [NIBIN] database.
In a most admirable act of leadership in crafting big “P” state-wide policy, DeWine, Attorney General Dave Yost, and the Ohio State Patrol Superintendent Col. Fambro announced a joint initiative for more comprehensive ballistics testing state-wide - increasing the number of National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) units in Ohio from seven to 16.
Moreover, they showed that they “walk their talk” – by investing $10.5 million dollars - so that the NIBIN technology is readily available at no cost to local law enforcement, providing investigators with the pertinent tools needed to solve more crimes.
"As a result of this, current shooting cases will be solved faster, future shootings will be prevented and lives will be saved," DeWine said.
I believe he’s right.
PS: To all involved in this new initiative – good luck and thanks for the work that you do!