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Gov. DeWine, Ginther announce new investigative unit aimed at preventing gun violence in central Ohio

As of Sept. 18, there were 114 homicides in the city of Columbus this year compared to 101 at this time last year.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced a new initiative aimed at preventing gun violence in central Ohio during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement revealed that a new investigative unit, Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC), is now up and running within the Ohio Department of Public Safety in Columbus.

The concept was developed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and puts law enforcement from various jurisdictions under one roof with the mission of identifying those responsible for gun violence. 

DeWine said that the center will consist of full-time investigators, intelligence analysts and firearm examiners from the following agencies:

  • Columbus Division of Police
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol
  • Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center
  • Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • ATF

Several other agencies, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, will also be supporting the initiative.

The Central Ohio CGIC is the second full-scale crime gun intelligence center in the state. 

“The new Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center represents the next generation in intelligence-based policing, and it is unlike anything that has ever been done in Central Ohio before," said DeWine. "The teams taking part in this large-scale and long-term collaboration are sharing everything from intelligence and investigative leads to technology and manpower so that they can zero in on the people who are shooting and killing others without remorse. Gun violence is about to become much, much harder to get away with in Central Ohio."

OSHP dedicated two NIBN machines to the CGIC which create digital images of shell casings from crime scenes. Using those images, analysts will be able to compare the casings to the firearm evidence from other crimes. Investigators will then be able to use that information as a lead.

“This is about tapping into the power of collaboration to strengthen accountability and secure justice – using our combined resources to connect the guns being used to kill, maim, and commit crimes with the individuals who wield or peddle them in the first place,” said Ginther.

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