PEORIA, Ill. — New federally funded technology will give the Peoria Police Department and Peoria County Sheriff’s Office a quick and easy way to link multiple crimes and focus investigative efforts.

The departments will have access to the new Integrated Ballistics Identification Systems, which allows trained lab officers to place a shell casing collected as evidence into the machine’s tray and get high definition scans of the casing’s unique markings, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported ( ).

“This is one more important piece of technology that allows us to put together airtight cases on the thugs that should be in jail,” Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy said.

According to Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell, the new system was first put to use in mid-August. Since then, the IBIS system has supplied between six and eight hits.

“It’s been a good start for us. It’s going to be a valuable tool moving forward to be able to tie in and make the correlation between case A and case B. Prior to this machine we did not have this ability,” Mitchell said.

Within a day after the scan has been completed and sent to headquarters, the Peoria crime lab could receive a list of potential leads of what gun was used.

“Without this, we’re out there struggling around to find out what links these together, or are they linked together?” McCoy said, calling the hard-to-come-by technology a “huge investigative edge.”

Prior to having access to the IBIS system, a ballistics test would take months to deliver results. While the new system still needs further analyzation before they are submitted for evidence in court, it is still a big time saver for investigators.

Information from: Journal Star,