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Transitioning to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

Posted by eFORCE on September 16, 2019



Effective January 1, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will retire the Summary Reporting System (SRS) component of the Universal Crime Reporting program and will require all law enforcement agencies to move to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). 

Is your agency prepared for this transition?

EFORCE can help you make the switch from your legacy systems to the new and more effective reporting system in time for the deadline.

What is the National Incident-Based Reporting System? 

NIBRS is a criminal reporting system that offers a number of benefits for public safety and law enforcement agencies.

The system is designed to capture a significant number of details on each crime incident (or separate offenses within the same incident). This may include everything from information on the victims and the known offenders to the nature and type of specific offenses in the incident. You can record details about property that was stolen or recovered, characteristics about the people arrested in connection with the crime, and even information on relationships between the victims and offenders.

This goes beyond the SRS’s level of detail because it also allows the officer to provide the circumstances and context for the crime, like where and when it happened as well as whether or not the incident was eventually cleared.

What are the Benefits of NIBRS?

There are several distinct benefits and advantages that come from transitioning to NIBRS.

  • Agencies will be able to improve the reliability, accuracy, and accessibility of the nation’s crime statistics.
  • NIBRS collects detailed data for 52 offenses, along with 10 more offenses where only arrests are reported. (With SRS, only limited amounts of data are collected.)
  • More robust and detailed data from crime incidents will create a more effective tool for policy makers, analysts, and even the general public.
  • A better understanding of crime incidents can also lead to more informed decisions about how to address problems in the community.
  • Provide more specificity in every report on offenses committed and add context to crime problems.


The End Goal of Moving to NIBRS

In the end, the transition to NIBRS will provide law enforcement agencies, academics, and the general public with more comprehensive data than ever before.

But what can be done with this information?

The end goal is to create an environment in which this data can be used for training, planning, research and management. It has the potential to improve the overall quality of crime data collected by law enforcement so better deterrents and solutions can be found.

The FBI has made nationwide implementation of NIBRS a top priority, and their goal is to see it become the official standard for quantifying crime.

With this system in place, they expect to provide law enforcement agencies and communities with more useful statistics so they can make more informed policies and use their resources more effectively.

Making a Smooth Transition

There are a few things to keep in mind as your agency prepares to transition to NIBRS:

  1. Initiate agency buy-in 

The most important thing to do when you begin the transition to NIBRS is to get your agency on board.

The move to NIBRS is mandatory. While change is sometimes daunting, the end result will lead to better reporting of incidents and crime statistics.

But it won’t be nearly as effective if there are people in the agency who are not completely sold on the idea. Get everyone on board and make sure they understand why the transition is happening and how they can contribute to its success.

  1. Upgrade your Records Management System (RMS)

You may have to replace your current RMS software in order to be NIBRS-capable. Since implementing a new solution can take a few months to a year (or longer), this makes 2019 a perfect time to start the move.

If funding is an issue, we have helped hundreds of law enforcement agencies obtain grants to ease the transition. Please contact our Sales Team for more information: 888-570-4943 x 2790

  1. Avoid the loss of state/national funding

Failure to comply with the FBI’s recommendations by 2021 could result in the loss of federal funding for your agency. This includes grants such as the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and the office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Non-compliant agencies may also miss out on other national grant programs.

eFORCE Can Make the Transition Seamless

eFORCE has worked with several agencies across the United States to help them utilize eFORCE RMS to collect and submit NIBRS information seamlessly. This is done through the ingenious reporting tool, which requires certain fields to be collected while events/incidents are being captured by officers. 


Ultimately, the national transition to NIBRS will further support the mission of the FBI’s UCR Program to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management.

With the January 1, 2021 deadline quickly approaching, why wait? 

Deploying and using NIBRS compliant software can help your agency to be more effective, today.

For more information on aligning your agency with NIBRS requirements, or if you are ready to investigate NIBRS compliant software for collecting and tracking crime data, contact us today or get a free quote to find exactly what you need.



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