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IJIS Institute Participation in the 2018 ASUCRP Conference

Posted By Robert L. May II, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I represented the IJIS Institute at the Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs (ASUCRP) Conference held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 5-7, 2018. ASUCRP represents participants in the National Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

 

Let’s start with a little background. UCR data is collected either through Summary or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reporting methods on the local, regional, state, territorial, and national levels. Members of ASUCRP collect and analyze crime data that is not available through any other source.

 

This was a very productive conference that brought together participants from state UCR Program Offices, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Bureau of Justice Statistics NCS-X program, Justice Research and Statistics Association members, and several IJIS Institute Member companies.

 

The highlights from the conference are included in this article.

 

Amy Blasher of FBI CJIS provided a comprehensive update on FBI CJIS programs. Amy said they are working toward one Uniform Crime Statistics reporting standard for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that will provide richer data to inform, educate, and strengthen communities. Major components of this effort include the transition to NIBRS by 2021, the National Use of Force Data Collection, the FBI reporting their own data, and Crime Data explorer. Other CJIS updates included:

  • UCR Tech Refresh – deployed in June of 2018, a more streamlined process with automated error, warning and data quality messages. For more information, go to: ucr@fbi.gov
  • Topics for the Advisory Policy Board (APB) Fall meeting include: a UCR Program Update, NIBRS Incident definitions and dictionary of UCR words and phrases topic paper, reporting to UCR program by nontraditional means, crime reporting timeliness recommendations, and the Status of the NIBRS Transition.
  • The Office of the Deputy Attorney General has a desire to report violent crime counts on a more frequent basis. The FBI UCR Program has been tasked to develop a mechanism to provide violent crime statistics for 303 agencies (most in high population areas) for use in high-level briefings.
  • The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. In response, the FBI will create a Task Force (an extension of UCR Subcommittee) which will have different subgroups that will feed their recommendations up to the UCR Subcommittee Chair to report to UCR Subcommittee. The FBI is looking for people to serve on these subgroups. Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 1: Defining and Classifying Crime assesses and makes recommendations for the development of a modern set of crime measures in the United States and the best means for obtaining them. This first report develops a new classification of crime by weighing various perspectives on how crime should be defined and organized with the needs and demands of the full array of crime data users and stakeholders.

Scott Trent provided a historical overview of the APB. The APB was created in 1994 using a shared management concept. The APB is a Federal Advisory Committee and is therefore re-chartered every two years. The APB is responsible for reviewing appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to CJIS Division programs. Subsequent to their review, the Board makes recommendations to the director of the FBI. The APB is composed of 35 representatives from criminal justice agencies and national security agencies and organizations throughout the United States. The APB meets at least twice during each calendar year. A notice of these meetings is published in the Federal Register. Meetings are open to the public by law and the minutes are posted online. Nick Mega njmegna@fbi.gov is the designated federal officer for the APB. For more information about membership, go to: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/the-cjis-advisory-process.

Kyle Comer (MO) and Scott Trent (FBI CJIS) provided an update on the NIBRS Transition Task Force. Kyle opened with a few quotes from former IJIS Institute Executive Director Paul Wormeli… “better data leads to better information which leads to better knowledge,” and, “NIBRS is actually not about generating crime statistics, it’s about having better information to make better decisions.” Important points from this presentation include:

  • The XCOTA tool is available for use to get to NIBRS.
  • The FBI is trying to make NIBRS pages more user friendly and less text bookish.
  • 10 federal agencies are now reporting and 36 have committed to report. 14 do not report NIBRS since they do not make arrests.
  • State Programs – Mississippi has committed to establish a UCR Program.
  • States with level of agency commitment to meet the 2021 deadline:

o   29 states have 76-100%

o   5 states have 25-75%

o   4 states 26 – 50%

o   8 states 0-25%

 

Amy Blasher (FBI), Jeff Sedgwick (JRSA), Daniel Cork (Natl Academy of Sciences), and Jonathan Hawkins, (Professor at Carnegie Mellon) discussed the modernization of crime statistics. The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. The study was done at the request of OMB, BJS, and the FBI. In the presentation, they noted that an attribute-based reporting system aligns well with NIBRS, and we can do advanced analysis with this data. With NIBRS, we will have data we never saw before and the possibilities are endless with the advanced crime analysis. An attribute-based system is a stark departure from the current system.

 

The IJIS Institute’s UCR/NIBRS Working Group conducted a session on the Working Group’s activities related to web services for NIBRS. The interactive session was led by Chair Jim Pingel of URL Integration. Other work group members serving on the panel included: Todd Thompson (Caliber Public Safety), Melissa Winesburg (Optimum Technologies), Randy Cole (CODY Systems), Chris Bonyun (Beyond 20/20), Ellie Bennett (Mark43), Michael Wise (FBI-CJIS), and and Patti Zafke (MN BCA).

The session used an interactive polling app to obtain input from participants regarding current methods of submission and plans for submission in the future. Jim Pingel described the collaboration between the IJIS Institute, ASUCRP, and FBI CJIS as working together in emerging technologies to help improve timeliness and efficiencies of crime data submission. The panel provided an overview of submission methods and the benefits of each method. During a discussion of state variations and the potential of XML, panelists talked about extending the NIBRS Specification to capture state-specific requirements. Jim concluding by credited the IJIS Institute for bringing competitors together to work on common problems!

Tags:  ASUCRP  CJIS  NIBRS  UCR 

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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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