INDIANAPOLIS — Getting illegal guns out of the hands of criminals is the goal of a new state bill which took effect this month.
The law, which passed with bipartisan support, will create the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force.
For the last couple of years, IMPD has operated the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) at East District headquarters.
The goal of the new bill is to expand that expertise to the seven counties surrounding Marion County.
At a hotel near Post Road in June, officers with the CGIC arrested two people and seized four illegal handguns.
This month in downtown, again with the help of CGIC, officers seized eight more firearms and made six arrests.
“The success they’ve had pursuing these crime guns has been amazing,” said Rep. Greg Steuerwald, (R – District 40).
That’s why Rep. Steuerwald helped author House Bill 1558, allowing cities and towns in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, Morgan, Johnson and Shelby counties to collaborate with the CGIC, because crime isn’t unique or limited to Indianapolis.
“Some of these crime guns are used by multiple people in multiple areas so we can trace that gun through the entire process,” said Steuerwald.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said IMPD Captain Michael Bruin.
IMPD leadership at the Crime Gun Intelligence Center, which has seized hundreds of illegal firearms over the last couple of years, are excited to share their knowledge, because the entire purpose of CGIC is to reduce gun violence.
“By expanding it to the surrounding counties we hope to benefit them, because some of their crime is surely connected crime in Marion county,” said Bruin. “It’s an innovative approach that now is going to be even stronger as we pull in more officers and have more information to share.”
Rep. Steuerwald says dozens of agencies have already agreed to take part in the task force, which he hopes will solve crimes and maybe save lives.
“It’s a great law enforcement tool because they trace the gun which leads them to the perpetrator,” said Steuerwald. “In my opinion it does more to advance law enforcement, because you’ve got to catch the criminal before you can prosecute them.”
Various community leaders are planning to hold a kickoff event for the task force in two weeks at IMPD’s East District headquarters.