Fighting Gang Violence with NIBIN

A Case Study involving the successful use of IBIS and the NIBIN Program by the Santa Ana Police Department to combat violent gang-related crime. Written by Rocky Edwards.

Santa Ana, the largest city in Orange County by population covers an area of 27.2 square miles.

The populace of Santa Ana is approximately 349,100 (2000 census) and is comprised of 77.7% Hispanics, 10.3% Caucasians, 10.08% Asians, and the remaining percentage represented by other ethnic groups.

The median age is 27.8 years. Unemployment is 5.8%, translating to approximately 10,360 persons. The number of housing units is approximately 76,000.

Like many cities across the United States, Santa Ana has a gang activity problem and consequently, numerous firearm related incidents.

As participants in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), the Santa Ana Police Department’s (SAPD) Firearms Unit (FA Unit), currently has a case backlog of approximately 800 firearm-related cases and averages approximately 400 firearm-related incidents annually.

Prior to August 1996, all firearmrelated cases were sent to the County Crime Laboratory. Due to a serious backlog, the turnaround time was sometimes up to one year.

Current staffing of the Firearms Unit consists of one firearms examiner and three part-time personnel.

Phone: 925-398-2079

1152 Stealth St.

Livermore, CA 94551