CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has renewed his push for local police departments to take advantage of what he believes is a critical law enforcement tool: electronic tracing of guns.
“This isn’t pro-gun/anti-gun. This is just being smart,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
The sheriff said his department has used the free eTrace service offered by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to help trace the history of guns recovered at crime scenes.
Robbins Police Chief Mitchell Davis said, by using eTrace, he was able to connect a gun confiscated in his suburb to a burglary in Ohio.
“We turned that information over to the Ohio authorities, so that they could move forward with it. We’re able to solve crimes, possibly, that took place somewhere else, by giving them information that ‘Hey, this gun is now in Robbins. How did it end up getting there?’” Davis said.
Durbin said since he began his push for Illinois police departments to sign up for eTrace, 450 of the 800 agencies here have done so, the highest of any state. He said there’s no reason every other department should not follow suit.