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JIS News

By the end of November 2005, state-of-the-art crime fighting technology, in the form of the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS), will be a part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s arsenal.
The announcement was made on Friday (Oct. 28) by Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, at a signing ceremony for the equipment, held at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.
Mr. Phillips informed that IBIS, which costs just over US$1.9 million was being procured with the assistance of the Canadian Government. The contract was signed by Minister Phillips and Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing, Forensic Technology of Canada, Pete Gagliardi. Canadian High Commissioner Claudio Valle was also present.
IBIS is the only commercially deployed ballistics testing system available in the world, and is being used by the major law enforcement agencies in Jamaica’s principal international partner countries.
The equipment will enable the JCF to inter alia: ‘fingerprint’ firearms in Jamaica and develop an appropriate database; build a database of bullets and spent shells recovered from crime or shooting scenes; link bullets and spent shells recovered from crime or shooting scenes with other gun crimes and shooting scenes; and link recovered illegal firearms with particular gun crimes.
Speaking on the implementation of IBIS, Minister Phillips said, “As far as the JCF system is concerned, it will have three sites. There is the main site at the Police Forensic Lab. There will be a site in Montego Bay and a site in May Pen. And all of these will be linked together electronically. So that you may test the signatures of weapons and exchange information between the critical sites.”
He added that these would be linked to a fourth site at the National Firearms Licensing Authority. Dr. Phillips noted that every licensed firearm would have its signature taken and recorded in a national database. This, he said, would be available to police investigators.
He further added, “we will be able to eliminate easily, those situations where so-called legitimate firearms get used for illegitimate purposes, or where people lend weapons and rent weapons for nefarious activities. That type of investigation will lead us to the persons who are masquerading as legitimate citizens, when they are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing.”