Westchester County

Ballistics

Ballistics Section

holzman2_original

The Ballistics Section assists investigators in processing crime scenes and analyzing evidence in cases that involve the use of firearms.

Ballistics Section investigators identify types of weapons and ammunition and conduct microscopic comparisions of bullets and discharged cartridge casings recovered at crime scenes, hospitals or morgues.

Core functions of ballistics are testing of firing weapons for operability, examination of projectiles and identification of tool marks and gunpowder residue.
 
The Ballistics Section houses a state-of-the-art Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS). This computer search system is an image-analyzing system for acquiring, storing and comparing the images of bullets and cartridge cases.

The IBIS system captures digital images of striations on bullets and tool marks left on cartridge cases. These identifying marks are used to produce an electronic signature. The marks are compared with images stored in a local database and a list of possible matches are assigned numerical scores, the highest of which are chosen and viewed under a comparison microscope for possible links between cases.

In addition, if investigative information warrants, the ability to search databases nationwide exists, thus revolutionizing the way ballistics evidence is compared and connected.