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Law enforcement uses a temporary ‘NIBIN’ bus ahead of permanent replacement in San Juan County

It’s a machine that has already helped police solve cases here in the metro. Now the state will get four more, including one in the Four Corners.

SAN JUAN COUNTY, NM – It’s a machine that has already helped law enforcement solve cases here in the metro. Now the state will get four more, including one in the Four Corners.

“It compares images of submitted ballistic evidence from shooting scenes and recovered firearms to produce a list of potential, related leads and hits,” said Brendan Iber, an ATF special agent in charge.

He’s talking about the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, or “NIBIN.” The ATF loaned a command bus to San Juan County in February. He’ll be leaving soon, but a permanent one is on the way.

“Both the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and the Farmington Police Department have already trained their personnel on NIBIN acquisitions,” Iber said.

In the past two months, Farmington police have had four hits and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has had six. This means that at least 10 guns confiscated in San Juan County were used in previous crimes.

“In the way and what these machines are designed to be used for, they are actually a tool for us to disrupt the violence as it is happening,” New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez said.

While NIBIN is a great tool for law enforcement, they still need help from the community to solve crimes.

“The NIBIN machine is not a magic 8-ball; you can’t shake it and results in a suspect. We need community participation, we need people to report crimes when they hear gunshots,” said Alexander Uballez, a prosecutor for New Mexico.

The ATF hopes to have the permanent NIBIN machine operational in San Juan County by the end of the year.