The Expansion of NIBRS
It has been suggested that information is the true currency of our modern age. Knowing—and using that knowledge for decision making, planning, and simple situational awareness—is vital to crime-related problem solving in our society.
FBI Director James B. Comey recently commented to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) at their conference in Chicago,
“We face a data shortage on the violent crime front. We can’t tell you on a national level how many shootings there were in any particular city last weekend …How can we address a rise in violent crime without good information? And without information every single conversation in this country about policing and reform and justice is uninformed and that is a very bad place to be.”
Director Comey continued,
“So I hope you will join me in getting us all to move to NIBRS [National Incident-Based Reporting System]. NIBRS is a way in which we can all collect data in a way that we can identify patterns, trends, and help us prevent crime and have thoughtful informed conversations at the national level.”
Making the across-the-board implementation of NIBRS by law enforcement a priority reflects the FBI’s commitment to collecting deeper, more useful statistics that will provoke constructive discussion, measured planning, and informed policing. NIBRS, with its data-rich incident-based collection, can provide those statistics.