BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As January comes to an end, Baltimore has already seen more than 20 homicides in 2020.

In an on-going effort to combat crime, the city is working to improve technology to help authorities crack cases.

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The city’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center focuses on the collection, management and analysis of crime gun evidence; such as shell casings, to identify shooters and investigate crimes.

“We’ve been able to implement better coordination and better technology to make certain we are able to understand the shell casings that we’re picking up from these scenes, how they’re connected and who’s using these guns,” Eric Melancon, Chief of Staff of Baltimore Police, said.

Police say this data-driven strategy serves a vital role when it comes to the department’s approach on deployment and enforcement.

“Part of what the technology allows us to do is understand how the shell casings are going through a gun,” Melancon said. “It gives us a fingerprint if you will, on bullets that are used by specific guns. We can create connectivity with that and make sure that we understand the pattern by which the gun violence is occurring.”

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Now, Baltimore Police plans to bring a researcher on board to ensure the technology is working to address the city’s crime rate.

“We’re bringing in a best practice model,” Melancon said. “A research partner who has experience in this from the LAPD who has the ability to make certain that we’re optimizing our approach here in Baltimore”

A contract was approved Wednesday.

The pilot program is currently being used in east Baltimore right now.

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These Crime Gun Intelligence Centers are already being used in cities like Los Angeles and Baton Rouge.