$10M available for crime-reporting systems

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"Order and Law"

States can now apply to the U.S. Department of Justice for a share of $10

million in awards to update systems for a more thorough and uniform FBI-sanctioned

criminal justice reporting system.

The $10 million is the first appropriation under the Crime Identification

Technology Act of 1998, which provides funding to states in cooperation

with local governments and tribes that want to participate in the new National

Incident-Based Reporting System.

The system is the FBI's new approach to a uniform crime reporting system

that moves beyond statistics used in the former program.

The NIBRS keeps track of individual records for each crime incident

and arrest, collecting offense, offender, victim, property and arrest data.

The system collects data on 22 crime categories covering 46 offenses, compared

with the eight offenses gathered in the former system.

States must apply for the awards on behalf of cities and counties. If

a locality receives an award, the state can receive some money for administrative

costs, according to Carol Kaplan, chief of the Criminal History Record Improvement

Program. No state can receive more than $1 million.

Most of the localities will use the money to upgrade current reporting

systems and training on new ways to collect the larger amount of data, Kaplan

said.

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