POLICE Magazine

DEC 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1058219

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Page 34 of 60

32 POLICE DECEMBER 2018 y 2021, the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) program will be retiring and a new crime reporting system will be required across all U.S. law enforcement agencies. Cre- ated in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the UCR Program has been administered by the FBI since 1930 to gather information regarding the nature and volume of crime throughout the United States. e new system, known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), will completely replace UCR and will ensure agencies are collecting and reporting crime data to the FBI in a more thorough and stan- dardized manner. Unlike its predecessor, which is now used by only 18,000 agen- cies nationwide, NIBRS will not be optional and must be imple- mented by Jan. 1, 2021. While that deadline may seem distant, agencies must be proactive and transition their systems to be NIBRS-compliant sooner rather than later. Aside from the fact that this is a government-mandated program, there are several reasons why agencies should act fast. While the implementation of a NIBRS-compliant solution should ideally only take an agency three to six months, that time frame does not take into account any errors, bottlenecks, learning curves, and/or training processes that may significantly delay the transition. e sooner your agency commits to making the transi- tion, the easier it will be to handle those road blocks or hiccups in stride and still be on track for the January 1, 2021 deadline. e first step an agency must take to implement NIBRS is to choose NIBRS-compliant software. is software must adhere to four areas of certification criteria for it to comply: • System appropriateness: You must provide evidence that your NIBRS reporting software solution follows NIBRS techni- cal specifications by submitting a description of your incident- based system, including submission structure, crime categories, segment relationships, number of offenses collected per inci- dent, and data values allowed per data element. is document will be reviewed by the FBI for program design and concept. • Updated capability and responsiveness: e software must also demonstrate its ability to update submissions, meet dead- lines, respond to FBI queries and requests, and correct errors re- ceived from the FBI's UCR Program in a timely manner. • Low error rate: Data submissions must be logical and con- sistent. e FBI measures logic by the percentage of Group A Incident Report submissions containing errors. e FBI defines the error rate as the number of rejected reports over the number of reports submitted and requires a sustained error rate of 4% or While the NIBRS implementation process may seem like a tedious task, it is one that will improve the functionality of your law enforcement agency and make for more accurate crime statistics nationwide. Jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible because, in the long run, you'll be helping to lift all boats – including your own. PREPARE YOUR AGENCY FOR THE NEW AND IMPROVED CRIME REPORTING SYSTEM Current UCR Reporting vs. NIBRS Collects data on homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny theft, and arson Employs a Hierarchy Rule that only recognizes the most extreme crime within a particular incident Collects data on as many as 10 criminal offenses within a particular incident Collects incidents and arrest data on 52 Group A offenses and arrest data on 10 Group B offenses Documents animal cruelty, extortion, and identity theft offenses Has Crime Against Persons and Crime Against Property categories Includes a Crime Against Society category Gathers incident-related data, including the relationship between victims and offenders, type and quantities of drugs involved, and types of property that were damaged or stolen UCR NIBRS X X X X X X X X X X The National Incident-Based Reporting System offers law enforcement many advantages over the Uniform Crime Reporting program. B O B B Y R O B E R T S O N B

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