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IMPD crime gun investigations to be model for central Indiana police



INDIANAPOLIS –A bill to expand IMPD’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center model to seven other central Indiana counties is advancing through the Indiana Statehouse.

The Indiana Crime Guns Task Force bill passed out of the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee and has been referred to a budget committee for funding.

The bill would establish a task force to include Shelby, Johnson, Boone, Morgan, Hendricks, Hamilton and Hancock counties to work alongside Marion County and IMPD.

The IMPD CGIC program of enhanced evidence collection, law enforcement and intelligence techniques has led to 352 arrests since the start of 2020 and seized 376 crime guns.

“This speeds up the process for studying the ballistics and getting other evidence from that gun,” said Captain Mike Bruin, IMPD’s CGIC coordinator. “Now we have the forensic evidence, the ballistic evidence, you marry what we call the crime gun intelligence to that where you see these connected events and you dive down and what are the commonalities between these seemingly unrelated events.

“The ultimate goal is for us to identify the repeat trigger pullers in our city.”

Bruin said since 2019, CGIC detectives have been able to solve several high-profile cases including an assault on the home of an Indianapolis Colts assistant coach, three shootings on the downtown Canal, the arrests of 20 people involved in several south east side shootings and the arrest of a murder suspect involved in a shootout with police on the east side last month.

“CGIC’s really designed to prevent the next shooting so we figure out who the shooters are, and we try to arrest them we try to stop them before they can shoot somebody else,” said Bruin. “We’ve worked quite a few cases in the surrounding counties. We’ve helped Hendricks County and Johnson County and Hamilton County on pretty significant cases. We have cases linked to South Bend and Terre Haute and Bloomington.”

Fishers Police detectives were among the first suburban investigators to be trained in gun evidence collection by IMPD in early 2019.

“184 guns taken off the streets of Fishers, illegal crime guns, and when those are run through the data base, we found out that there were connections to 101 other crimes being conducted in central Indiana,” said Mayor Scott Fadness. “Our message to criminals who will terrorize these neighborhoods today is, ‘Your world is shrinking and shrinking quickly,’ and we’re gonna work collectively and put the resources behind it and we’re gonna hold those people accountable.”

The proposal had unanimous bi-partisan support during this morning’s committee hearing.

“I went to this facility and I saw the collaboration that goes on to help solve the crimes in communities like mine,” said Senator Greg Taylor, a democrat representing Marion County who recounted his visit to IMPD’s CGIC. “While we were in the meeting, the FBI along with the US Attorney’s Office had arrested a guy who was selling guns in my community and they asked him how many times he did it and he said, ‘Hundreds,’ and these guys need help and I do, too. I need help from all of us.”

Bill sponsor Rep. Gregory Steuerwald, a republican from Hendricks County, said violent crime spillover from Marion County is affecting his community.

“We believe there are so many crime guns that are used within this area.”

IMPD has already hosted police officers from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Albuquerque who are hoping to take the Indianapolis crime gun investigation model back to their hometowns.

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