Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $416,077)
The goal of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) is to improve the Nation's safety and security by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information and by insuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems. BJS provides direct financial and technical assistance to the states to improve criminal history and other related records and to build their infrastructure to connect to national record check systems both to supply information and to conduct the requisite checks.
Under the 2015 NCHIP priority area 1, for updating and automating case outcomes in state records and the FBI's Criminal History File, the Virginia State Police (VSP) will conduct three projects to contribute information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Specifically, 1) research and resolve missing dispositions; 2) develop and implement an improved criminal history record capture process; and 3) research and resolve initially non-approved transactions for the purchase or possession of firearms.
Research and resolve missing dispositions: The VSP will continue following the missing disposition project previously initiated with NCHIP funds. The project requires two full-time employees (FTE) to continue researching and resolving missing court dispositions in the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) System. The goals of the project are to: improve the disposition reporting rate for arrest records submitted to the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE); improve data quality; and assist in research of Supreme Court Interface exceptions, which also reduces the number of missing dispositions in the future and increases communication with clerks of courts.
Implement a record capture process: The VSP will hire a Business Analyst to assist in the development and implementation of an improved criminal history record capture procedure as the VSP programs and transitions to a replacement JAVA Computerized Criminal History system (JCCH). The current system in use is 30 years old and is at risk for failure due to the age of the system. The business analyst will oversee arrest and disposition reporting and information transmitted to NICS on a daily basis. Currently, VSP does not have any full-time employee on staff with the background, training and expertise to ensure that JCCH functions properly and can support the numerous users in the system.
Research and resolve non-approved transactions of firearms: The VSP will hire two FTEs to research and resolve initially non-approved transactions for the purchase or possession of firearms; determine the lawful eligibility for persons to obtain a VA Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit; and to liaison with the FBI to create, clarify, correct, and update prohibitive or potentially prohibitive criminal records. The goals of the project are to: implement data sharing that will improve the effectiveness of background checks for the possession of firearms; facilitate the accurate and timely identification of persons who are ineligible to purchase a firearm; facilitate the accurate and timely identification of persons who are ineligible to obtain a VA Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit; reduce or eliminate extensive delays in the resolution of initially non-approved firearm transactions and in the concealed handgun permit application/issuance process; provide an improved product to the lawfully eligible customer and prevent the transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person; provide data in response to NICS background check inquiries to the NICS, and subsequently to state counterparts and the gun buying population; and, reduce the duplication of effort of processing a check for the same individual for the purchase of a firearm or the issuance of a concealed handgun permit.