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Full Implementation of the UCR Local Template for Reporting and Analysis (ULTRA)

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $338,664)

The National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X) is an effort to expand the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) into a nationally representative system of incident-based crime statistics. BJS and the FBI are implementing NCS-X with the support of other Department of Justice agencies, including the Office for Victims of Crime. The goal of NCS-X is to enroll a sample of 400 scientifically selected law enforcement agencies to submit data to NIBRS; when these 400 new NIBRS-reporting agencies are combined with the more than 6,300 agencies that reported to NIBRS as of 2013, the nation will have a nationally representative system of incident-based crime statistics drawn from the operational data systems of local police departments. These incident-based data will draw upon the attributes and circumstances of criminal incidents and allow for more detailed and transparent descriptions of crime in communities.

The current mechanism by which local law enforcement (LE) agencies report data to the FBI’s NIBRS, in general, is for local LE agencies to submit data to their state UCR reporting program, and then for the state UCR program to report those data to the FBI. While the FBI does accept NIBRS data directly from a small number of law enforcement agencies, the highly preferred route of reporting is through the state UCR program.

Funding from 2015 National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X) Implementation Assistance Program will help states to expand their current capacity to report incident-based crime data to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The plan to transition local agencies to NIBRS reporting requires enhancing the “state pipeline” in order to ensure that each state’s Uniform Crime Reporting program is capable of receiving and processing local incident-based crime data.

For states that currently have no NIBRS program, the primary goal of this funding is to help them design and/or implement a NIBRS-certified incident-based reporting (IBR) program and begin reporting NIBRS data from at least one agency from the NCS-X sample. For states with a NIBRS component but have less than 80% reporting, the primary goal of this funding is to help the state program expand their capacity to receive and process additional IBR data and begin reporting NIBRS data from at least one agency from the NCS-X sample.

Alabama’s current system, ULTRA, was originally created to be NIBRS compliant. It was developed based on N-DEx program under the assumption the FBI would do the conversion. In the process of becoming FBI certified it was discovered that the ULTRA system could not connect the persons to the associated incident. Starting in January 2015, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) with the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) began the process of making the ULTRA system NIBRS compatible. The prototype, ULTRA 3.0, has been built and initial testing has been completed. Funds will cover further validation, documentation and rolling-out the new NIBRS compatible system. Funding will also be used to make sure the system is fully NIBRS compliant, creating a pipeline for agencies to transfer their incident-based records to ALEA and for ALEA to the FBI, providing training to agencies and vendors on NIBRS requirements and testing the system with beta sites. The 11 agencies that fall in the NCS-X sample will be recruited to be beta sites.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 23, 2015