Preparedness & Recovery

Police Implement New Crime Reporting System

The certification comes from criteria that are set by the state of Missouri as well as the FBI. It is a significant switch in the way the department manages things and how data is collected.

by Kristen Carver, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo. / January 30, 2018

(TNS) -The St. Joseph public will be able to obtain information on a reported crime that took place in their neighborhood or one that occurred on the other side of the country.

The St. Joseph Police Department on Monday announced it recently received a Missouri Incident Base Reporting System (MIBRS) certification, which will change how crime statistics are recorded on a national level.

“Criminal justice data has always been a priority for the St. Joseph Police Department to improve community relations and our local policing policies,” said Dawn Hill, St. Joseph’s emergency communications center supervisor.

The certification comes from criteria that are set by the state of Missouri as well as the FBI. It is a significant switch in the way the department manages things and how data is collected.

For years the department used what’s called summary reporting, also known as Uniformed Crime Reporting. It was a system that was developed in the 1920s to collect national crime data. UCR only looked at eight different offenses, whereas MIBRS collects 49.

MIBRS focuses on details of each crime as well. Some of those include date, time, and location of an incident, as well as race, sex and age of those involved. It also will note the relationship between a victim and offender. If weapons or drugs are used, that can be seen in the report too.

“You can see where all these things would be beneficial when you are looking at this kind of data and trying to determine how crime is affecting our communities,” Hill said.

In June 2016 the FBI announced the St. Joseph Police Department would be moving from UCR to MIBRS by January 2021. The department, however, found no reason to wait.

The certification is awarded by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Hill said the certification takes an average of six months to receive, but after meeting all criteria, the department achieved it in three.

“Now we have the ability to compare data between not only our jurisdiction but similar jurisdictions and our neighboring communities. We can take crime statistics from all of that and find strategies and solve crime problems across the board,” Hill said.

The public also is able to look at these crime trends in the area and elsewhere.

This makes St. Joseph the 38th jurisdiction in Missouri to obtain MIBRS. For St. Joseph’s UCR crime statistics, visit ucr.fbi.gov.

Kristen Carver can be reached at kristen.carver @newspressnow.com.

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