Sheriff Prummell explains new Incident-Based Reporting System, What it means for Charlotte County

From the desk of Sheriff Prummell-

In an effort to update the standard for nationwide crime reporting, the FBI is requiring law enforcement agencies to submit crime statistics using an incident-based method called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).  As of January 1, 2021, Florida adopted this standard at the lead of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  This standard differs from the previously used Unified Crime Reporting (UCR) standard in several ways.  The NIBRS standard allows for a higher level of detail in statistical reporting and is incident based whereas UCR is a summary based hierarchal system. 

The hierarchal UCR summary model only counts the worst offense committed during an event, while the incident based NIBRs model counts each offense committed during an event.  For example, under UCR, if an offender commits a burglary as well as a theft during an event, only the burglary would be counted. NIBRS breaks down the reporting into more categories, reporting all crimes committed during an offense, and is submitted monthly instead of biannually.   

What does this mean for Charlotte County?  In preparation for the NIBRS conversion, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has leveraged an incident-based record management system since 2009.  This has allowed the agency to analyze and adjust law enforcement services to best serve the community using a higher level of detailed data.  It also allows the agency to more easily adapt to the new Federal requirement. Since CCSO members already prepare reports at the incident level, only minor system adjustments and training are required to make the transition. 

It will also mean the year-to-year comparative data will look different between this year and previous years.  There will be categories that will appear to be elevated compared to previous years.  The statistical data will be counted and presented differently.  These differences may not be an indicator of increased crime, only a greater visibility to what is occurring in our community.  Since the data will look different, the CCSO and the FDLE are working closely to prepare products that will help provide the ability to compare this year and future year crime statistics to historical data provided in years past.

I am looking forward to the changes provided by the adoption of the NIBRS model.  The increased transparency provided by the detailed data will help the citizens of Charlotte County to stay informed about what is going on in their community.

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