Key Takeaways

Timely dissemination of intelligence reports to investigators.

  • A succinct intelligence report containing key findings of analysis such as maps, graphical representations of linkages, and person/suspect profiles should be provided as timely as possible.
  • Follow up or higher-level intelligence analysis can be conducted and provided to investigators as investigative circumstances warrant.
  • In instances where NIBIN leads or crime gun intelligence reveals a lead that has significant impact on public safety, immediate communication of that raw information to investigators is critical.

Timely Intelligence

Crime Gun Intelligence Centers

Timely and actionable referrals for investigative follow up are the hand-off point in the CGIC process. Following collection and analysis, the individual investigator is the “end user.” Tracking and documenting the outcome of referrals is important to the CGIC. This process will help avoid referrals that are not timely, relevant or useful to investigators. The tracking process allows for the constant evaluation of the CGIC’s effectiveness in partnership with investigators.
Lastly, the CGIC provides ongoing support to criminal investigations. Beyond the initial referral, investigations routinely develop new leads and new direction. The CGIC can add value to investigative information as it develops, giving investigators every possible advantage to solve cases.

Prioritizing Actionable Intelligence

CGI Triage

Not all crime gun intelligence is equal. Some ballistic matches or crime gun traces will be more relevant to an investigation than others. With the number of both NIBIN leads and firearms traces increasing, a system of triage is critical to assuring resources are properly allocated. The overriding goal of crime gun intelligence is to provide investigators relevant leads in violent crime cases. Leads must be viewed in a manner that ensures that those with the highest investigative potential are given priority for analysis and referral. ATF’s collective experience in this respect has developed a simple and effective system for lead triage, which focuses on four critical aspects of a CGI lead –Geography, Events, Time, and Solvability factors (GETS).

GETS is used to quickly identify CGI leads and information or intelligence that should be addressed on a priority basis. No category in GETS is weighted; rather the factors present a snapshot for prioritization of the CGI lead. Using GETS, crime gun intelligence is appropriately prioritized at the CGIC analysis phase leading to referrals that have the highest possible potential for investigative success.

Geography provides the physical location of all events that are involved in the shooting cycle and includes the initial and subsequent purchase/transfer of a firearm, the shooting events linked by ballistics, and the possession or recovery of the firearm. The physical location of these events tell much about the lead.

The event type, or what occurred, is the second factor in CGI triage. This includes primarily the initial assessment of threat to public safety based on the events involved.

The time between linked events is critical to consider in determining investigative potential. Important information might include the number of days between the purchase of a firearm and its use in a shooting event, or the number of days between a shooting event and the recovery of the firearm.

Solvability factors are those additional pieces of information that raise the investigative potential such as a witness statement or crime camera video.