When it comes to addressing gun crimes, traditional reactive models of patrol and arrests just seem to be not enough anymore. As the trigger pullers in the community grow smarter, so should law enforcement’s approach through a preventive crime gun strategy. Wichita adopted a proactive crime gun intelligence program and its representatives are here to discuss what makes it truly distinct and effective.
This session’s speakers are Wichita Police Department (WPD) Chief Gordon Ramsay and Midwest Criminal Justice Institute (MCJI) Director Kristin Brewer. Chief Ramsay has years of experience in the field of policing and has focused on building strong relations with the community to lower crime, build trust, and increase satisfaction with police. Meanwhile, Director Brewer is currently an adjunct professor with the MCJI, an Academic Coordinator for the School of Criminal Justice at Wichita State University (WSU), and serves as a point of contact and coordinator for the Wichita Crime Gun Intelligence Center (WCGIC).
Topics they delved into in this presentation are:
- An overview of Wichita, its police department, and their issue with violent crime.
- WSU and WPD’s partnership to advance forensic and law ensforcement research, transform research into actionable solutions, deliver training and technical assistance, and provide education opportunities.
- The genesis of the WCGIC – the needs identified, the challenges faced, and the elements critical to making it happen.
- WCGIC at work: The initiative’s mission, main stakeholders and partners, the organizational structure, and the operations and processes.
- Statistics and success stories that serve as a testament to the value of the WCGIC in generating leads and solving cases.
- The Save-A-Casing initiative which engaged the community in being a part of the crime gun proactive efforts.
- The WCGIC’s funding sources that afforded them to implement related projects and systems, acquire needed staff, and purchase equipment and ammunition.
- The research and evaluation arm of the initiative through the Midwest Criminal Justice Institute.
- The training and classes made available for students as well as officers taught by nationally-renowned SMEs.
- Lessons learned from the planning to implementation of the WCGIC which highlights:
- Collaboration for best practices, information, and resources.
- The importance of buy-in within the agency and with partners and policy-makers.
- Leadership as a critical factor in the success of massive and inter-agency initiatives.
- Preparing for the changes and need for extra bandwidth that the initiative will likely result in.
- How the WCGIC aligns with the objectives of 21st century policing of maximizing technology in the field of law enforcement.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Processes involved in the implementation of the WCGIC – the feedback letters, test firing, leads tracking, and follow up.
- Turning around the staff perceptions of the NIBIN program.
- The analytical software used to draw connections and matches from casings.
- Overcoming pushback on the Save-A-Casing initiative.
- Entering revolvers into NIBIN.
- Processing DNA and fingerprints from the firearms.
- Confirming leads via microscopic comparison.
- The evaluations MCGI is performing.
Resources and Handouts
- “Save-A-Casing program ties nicely into Lost or Stolen Firearms, Safe Storage, and Ballistics Collection legislation in the arena of Gun Violence Prevention. Would like to hear more about programs such as this that can be promoted through community action in partnership with law enforcement and universities.” — George
- “The outstanding collaboration between Federal, locals, and university. Great program.” — Debra
- “The overall concept is fantastic. … I believe this is a fantastic model for areas throughout the country and the nuts and bolts of the startup would be fantastic.” — James
- “The importance of reassessing a technique that has been used previously even if it has not been shown to be successful if the ideas behind the initiative seem to indicate it should be successful.” — Martha
- “Informative background, practical info useful for operational planning to achieve investigative results.” — Bill