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Innovation in Incident Reporting: An Industry Perspective

Posted By Martha Hill, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Posted on behalf of the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Program Advisory Committee (CPAC) 

The IJIS Institute and its Member companies recognize the value to the national criminal justice community of widespread adoption of the National Incident-Based Reporting (NIBRS) program by local agencies and state crime reporting program offices.       

As firms that provide solutions and services to assist in crime reporting, the IJIS Institute’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Program Advisory Committee (CPAC) Member companies emphatically support the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) CJIS Division's proposed plan to transition from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s traditional summary reporting to NIBRS.       

The IJIS Institute’s CPAC serves as a resource to industry regarding information on the major FBI CJIS Division information sharing programs and provides industry input and feedback to the CJIS Division. 

Based on individual experiences implementing crime reporting at the state and local levels, and collective work interacting with the FBI’s UCR Program, CPAC’s UCR Subcommittee members make the following additional recommendations to ensure a cost-effective transition:

  1. This transition will be best accomplished under a plan that provides a firm timetable.  Therefore, the IJIS Institute’s CPAC Member companies support the FBI CJIS Division’s development of a comprehensive transition plan that includes a five-year sunset provision on the UCR Summary Reporting System (SRS).
  2. Funding and incentives will further strengthen the transition.  We support federal grant programs that include NIBRS adoption as a distinct funding category. 
    We also support a program requiring participation in NIBRS as a grant funding condition to further encourage state and local law enforcement to participate in this program. 
  3. We further recommend that state UCR programs collaborate to develop standards for collecting, structuring and validating additional, state-specific reporting requirements. It is our position that the development of customized state-specific requirements for incident reporting raises the cost of providing and maintaining Records Management Systems (RMS).  We believe that these unique state variations present a significant barrier to aggressive NIBRS adoption on a national scale.  
  4. We recommend that the states and industry come together to agree on standards for extending and enhancing the core NIBRS Technical Specifications that leave intact NIBRS as the standard baseline.  Data elements, codes and other modifiers required within a specific state should be structured in such a way that the national NIBRS specification is extended, but not altered. 
  5. We strongly encourage the use of a NIBRS Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD), conformant with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) as the preferred or required format for submission of crime reports, both from local agencies to state programs, and from states to the UCR Program. The ability to create extension schemas in NIEM provides a technology and a process for supporting recommendation #3, above. 
  6. We support the harmonization of the NIBRS IEPD with the FBI’s N-DEx IEPD, to streamline law enforcement reporting and data-sharing, furthering both investigative and analytical capabilities by using shared data. 
  7. We support the work of the National Academy of Science’s Crime Indicators Working Group, in collaboration with the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board (APB), in ensuring that national crime report collections continue to reflect the nation’s public safety needs and challenges well into the future. 

The IJIS Institute’s CJIS Program Advisory Committee Member companies believe that the adoption of the recommendations given herein would streamline adoption of NIBRS. Ultimately, nationwide adoption will improve criminal justice decision-making; the ability to assess trends and make regional comparisons; and provide a greater degree of transparency.

Tags:  CJIS Program Advisory Committee  CPAC  FBI  Federal Bureau of Investigation  National Incident Based Reporting  NIBRS  UCR  Uniform Crime Report 

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