The FBI continues its focus on a nationwide implementation of the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS),an ongoing effort to ensure a more useful standard for recording, cataloging and reporting crime.
The deadline for this transition is January 1, 2021.
Are you ready to upgrade your systems for NIBRS compliance by the deadline?
The race is on for many law enforcement agencies. Many of them have older records management systems (RMS) that simply can’t report NIBRS data, either through incompatibility or improper configuration. Still, other agencies may be working with systems that are antiquated, requiring a complete overhaul.
What Is Holding Agencies Back?
There are several challenges that agencies face with this transition. Many have concerns about funding. There are, of course, several other real issues that must be addressed, including local policies, staff education, the impacts of non-compliance, a range of administrative issues and developing new workflows and processes.
These issues can be overcome and your agency can begin by upgrading your current law enforcement software.
Preparing for The Switch
Where do you even start? This is a question a lot of agencies have asked, so the FBI has provided a simple outline that will help you get ready for the transition. Their road to compliance looks like this:
- Procure the NIBRS software/hardware that you will need to properly gather and report data
- Determine if FBI or state-specific tech specs will be used, because every agency has different requirements
- Map state statutes to NIBRS offense codes so everyone is working with a common set of codes
- Establish a records management system (RMS) capable of capturing NIBRS (this is something eFORCE Software has been providing for years)
- Implement NIBRS RMS as soon as possible because it could take months to get everything running correctly
- Pretest data against NIBRS validation rules to make sure the systems are in synch
- Attain NIBRS certification
- Message NIBRS success
The FBI also provides a handy “readiness assessment” for law enforcement agencies so it’s possible to determine how far you’ve come and what you still have to complete to get fully prepared for January 2021.
We Have Been Prepping Agencies for Years
Our software has supported NIBRS for years, it is designed to comply with all the necessary regulations, while making it as easy as possible to implement and use.
Many of our partner agencies soon realize that working with an experienced service provider can reduce many (or most) of the risks associated with implementing a new system on their own.
At EFORCE, our solutions benefit from years of refinement and real-world evolution. We’ve helped many agencies integrate a NIBRS-compatible system with their current processes to ensure they are able to manage their records and contribute to the improved data collection.
Tips for Upgrading Your Systems
So, now that you have a goal and a direction for upgrading your systems, what can you do to ensure that the switch goes smoothly?
There are a few simple things that we recommend:
- Be Open
Communication goes both ways. That means you should be as open and direct as possible as you disseminate information throughout the agency.
It also means that you should seek input from those who have a real stake in this operation. You may seek the council of the city police chiefs or you might discuss the potential benefits with the government officials who will be behind the funding.
Making the entire process a more collaborative effort will help set expectations and keep everyone on the same page.
- Be Flexible
As you move along the path to NIBRS compliance, some speed bumps are inevitable. We all have plans, but something unforeseen can always get in the way.
On top of that, every agency has different needs, which means there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution.
While you work toward your goal of upgrading your systems, be adaptable enough to meet the needs of different agencies and respond quickly to sudden challenges.
- Be Consistent
As you develop a system for reporting, it’s essential tomap UCR offense codes to state statutes and local ordinances so that law enforcement agencies report crime data consistently.
This also means you will have to make sure everyone is on board with this transition. They need to understand why it’s happening and how they can contribute to its success. This way, everyone will be ready to input the data correctly and consistently.
Start Upgrading Now
The January 1, 2021 deadly isn’t very far away. Deploying and using our NIBRS compliant software is the first step to full compliance. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a demo and see our software in action.