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Frequently Asked Questions - General Questions

The OSBI participates in a practicum student program, in which college students can partake.  There is an online application that must be completed and returned.  In addition, please submit a copy of your transcript with the application.  University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) students should coordinate the practicum through Dr. Adams.  Applicants from universities that are not partnered with the OSBI will need a faculty sponsor and to be enrolled for college credit in a course compatible with the field of interest.  A letter of recommendation from your faculty sponsor along with the application materials must be mailed to:

OSBI Practicum Program
800 E. 2nd Street
Edmond, OK 73034

The practicum program will typically involve a short rotation through each of the OSBI forensic units, and each student will then be assigned a specific discipline where he/she will gain laboratory experience in that particular discipline.  The application for the practicum program must be submitted before the following dates:

  • A spring semester practicum application be must received no later than the third week in September prior to the spring semester.
  • A summer semester practicum application must be received no later than the third week in February prior to the summer semester.
  • A fall semester practicum application must be received no later than the third week in February prior to the fall semester.

Click here for more information and a full list of the opportunities and other information at the OSBI.

The Firearms and Toolmarks Unit is unable to release case information to civilians. Please, contact the case agent or investigating agency for information regarding your property.

Information regarding Firearms cases that may have a need to have comparisons to other geographical locations:

The Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) is the equipment and program used to upload images of fired cartridge cases into the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (NIBIN), which is maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Using crime data, the ATF has established ‘default,’ or automatic search areas, for each IBIS unit.  The OSBI’s IBIS unit is automatically searched to the following jurisdictions: ATF-Walnut Creek (CA), Tulsa PD (OK), Oklahoma City PD (OK), Fort Worth PD (TX), FBI (nationally), Dallas PD (TX), Arlington PD (TX), Albuquerque PD (NM) and Mesquite PD (TX).  What this means to officers in Oklahoma is that when you submit a firearm or fired cartridge case to the OSBI for entry into NIBIN, your evidence is only searched/compared to evidence from those areas listed above.  Your evidence is not automatically searched/compared against NIBIN entries from across the entire nation.

There are times when an officer has an investigative lead that may require that we expand our NIBIN search to include NIBIN entries from other areas of the United States. When this occurs, a manual correlation may be requested and conducted. This may be done by IBIS region, state, or even specific city.

Some examples of situations that may indicate that we need to expand the search area include:

  • A subject with past violent criminal history outside of the automatic IBIS search area;
  • A subject with known travel plans to/from locations that have them traveling through Oklahoma and on to other states;
  • A subject with past residences outside of the automatic IBIS search area; or
  • A firearm associated with possible drug trafficking across states.

If the need arises to have the firearm(s) and/or fired cartridge case(s) from crime scenes compared to another geographical location, contact the OBSI Firearm and Toolmark Unit to discuss an additional search.

At this time, it is not feasible to compare every firearm and/or fired cartridge case from crime scenes to the whole nation. This not only delays the results from being returned, it also delays results being returned to other agencies, as the program and servers can only perform so many correlations at a time. This is why we ask each agency to contact the OSBI Firearm and Toolmark Unit when asking for a manual correlation, to ensure our resources are used optimally.

 

If your agency has any unsolved cases that may benefit from a manual correlation to another region outside of the automatic IBIS search area and has already been submitted and entered by the OSBI, this manual correlation can likely be performed without the re-submission of that evidence. Please, contact the OSBI Firearm and Toolmark Unit to further discuss this potential investigative lead.

 

If you have any further questions or comments, please, do not hesitate to contact the OSBI Firearm and Toolmark Unit at 405-330-6724 or toll-free at 800-522-8253.

In compliance with Title 63 Oklahoma Statutes, Sections 2-507 and 2-505(B), the OSBI will accept controlled dangerous substances and drug paraphernalia as defined by the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.  Chemicals for destruction should be packaged separately from controlled dangerous substances and drug paraphernalia.

Syringes and sharp objects must be packaged in a puncture-proof container.

The following types of items will NOT be accepted by the OSBI for destruction:

  • Biohazardous materials or items contaminated with biohazard substances (blood, semen, etc.)
  • Explosives of any kind, including firecrackers and ammunition
  • Lighters
  • Batteries