ATF increasing manpower in West Tenn., using technology to track stolen guns and crime trends

Watch: ATF increasing manpower in West Tenn.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 has learned the Memphis Police Department is getting promised help from the federal government to fight crime.

Technology and manpower are just two resources mentioned during an exclusive interview with the assistant special agent in charge of the ATF for Western Tennessee, Chris Rogers.

FOX13 learned MPD is now using cutting edge technology called the Gun Intelligence Center.

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The technology helps track stolen guns and criminals responsible to reduce violent crime.

But it is also the manpower of the ATF that helped MPD catch some carjackers who were recently indicted.

Last July, two men were accused of carjacking a man at a gas station in Memphis. The crime was caught on video but ATF agents helped the investigation. The suspects have now been indicted on federal crimes for carjacking.

“We collaborate with the police department and sheriff’s department in the fight against violent crime,” said Rogers.

In this case, FOX13 learned ATF used its new Gun Intelligence Center promised by the Justice Department to Memphis Police and other law enforcement in the Mid-South. It can trace gun sales, stolen firearms, and trends.

Another tool being used more under the partnership is NIBIN, a ballistic information network that links shell casings to a gun and connects the weapon to a suspect.

“We ought to our community to be smart with our policing tactics and community engagement,” Rogers said.

FOX13 also learned that ATF has assigned more agents to the Mid-South but some of them had to be transferred temporarily to Minneapolis and Chicago. That will change once the pandemic allows ATF to hire and train.

“ATF headquarters are sending additional resources to the Memphis Police Department as well as the Sheriff’s Department,” Rogers said.

Assistant Special Agent Rogers said when it comes to the increased numbers in Memphis, he suspects it could be tied to drugs and gang activity.