Journal Published Online: 05 May 2004
Volume 49, Issue 4

Linking Crime Guns: The Impact of Ballistics Imaging Technology on the Productivity of the Boston Police Department's Ballistics Unit



Ballistics imaging technology has received national attention as a potent tool for moving the law enforcement response to violent gun criminals forward by linking multiple crime scenes to one firearm. This study examines the impact of ballistics imaging technology on the productivity of the Boston Police Department's Ballistics Unit. Using negative binomial regression models to analyze times series data on ballistics matches, we find that ballistics imaging technology was associated with a more than sixfold increase in the monthly number of ballistics matches made by the Boston Police Department's Ballistics Unit. Cost-effectiveness estimates and qualitative evidence also suggest that ballistics imaging technology allows law enforcement agencies to make hits that would not have been possible using traditional ballistics methods.

Author Information

Braga, AA
Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Pierce, GL
Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research, College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Pages: 6
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS2003205
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003205