FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2007

CONTACT: Wayne Avery, 908-527-4742
Jim Lowney, 908-527-4711


Union County Police Receive High-Tech Ballistic Information System
System’s rapid capabilities assist police in finding matches
between crimes, guns, and suspects

police - high-tech ballistic
Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes (R), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives Supervisory Special Agent Joseph Green (L) and Union County Police Sgt. Michael Sandford watch a ballistic examiner working with the newly installed BrassTRAX ballistic information computer system, at Union County Police headquarters in Westfield. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

WESTFIELD—The Union County Police announced today the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE) has installed a state-of-the-art ballistic information computer system in the ballistic lab at police headquarters.

Union County is the first county in the state to receive the automated BrassTRAX© system which creates 2D and, and eventually 3D, images of discharged cartridge casings.

The images of the casings can be then sent directly to in the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS), a national database, for comparison against ballistic evidence already in the system with the same caliber class and general rifling characteristics.

The new equipment is connected directly to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).

The new crime-solving technology uses magnification similar to that of a comparison microscope for correlation and comparison then produces a best-match list for ballistic examiners to review.

Using a MatchPoint Plus program, an examiner determines if there are any high confidence candidates in the list for direct comparison under a ballistic comparison microscope. Narrowing down possible matches makes identifying the weapon from which the bullet casing was ejected faster and more efficient.

The BrassTRAX system in the Union County Police ballistics lab is funded by the U.S. Congress through the ATFE at no cost to county taxpayers.