Mobile Forensic Van Speeds Up Connecticut Shooting Investigations

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A new mobile van is helping Hartford police enter ballistic evidence from shootings at an unprecedented pace.

This technology is even more important as Hartford’s homicides have already outpaced the numbers from this time last year.

At nearly every one of Hartford’s 27 homicides and shootings this year, detective Daniel Blumes and the Hartford Police Crime Scene Division have been responsible for picking up the evidentiary pieces.

“The number one thing is evidence of the shooting itself which is the fired cartridge casings. The casings themselves they became almost a fingerprint of the gun,” Blumes said.

Until recently, entering the evidence into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network required Blumes to deliver the ballistics to the Connecticut Forensic Laboratory in Meriden for further evaluation.

“It could be like six days sometimes, sometimes a little longer before it gets submitted to the lab,” Blumes said.

Now that legwork can be completed from right inside a new mobile forensic van now set up at Hartford Police Headquarters.

“The ultimate goal is to drive these investigations forward in a timely manner,” Lucinda Lopes-Phelan with the Division of Scientific Services said.

Lopes-Phelan says Hartford is the main contributor to her office’s casework. The office now training law enforcement in all of Connecticut’s major cities on how to use the mobile technology.

“Through the training the officers that are processing the scenes are actually now even better at evaluating the evidence that’s at the scene,” Lopes-Phelan said.

“You’re getting the results here within a day, these cases where this is the same gun and that’s huge for the investigator,” Blumes said.

Forensics fast-tracked, in hopes of solving Hartford’s shooting crimes faster.

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