The Murrieta Police Department is pleased to announce that on August 26, 2022, the department was officially awarded National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) certification by the California Department of Justice. This is a major milestone for the department. To date, the Murrieta Police Department is one of only a handful of California agencies to receive certification in a state comprised of over 500 law enforcement agencies.
In 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informed all states they were changing how crime statistics were being tracked and gave them five years to transition from Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) to the new NIBRS standard. In 2021, the Murrieta Police Department began submitting NIBRS data and after 16 months of arduous testing and troubleshooting, was finally recognized as an official NIBRS agency.
The Murrieta Police Department was able to secure a grant to help fund the transition and relieve taxpayers of the burden in paying for the costly upgrade through the Federal Office of Justice Programs. Throughout this process, Murrieta PD has met grant benchmarks and once final payment is approved, will have received $48,807 back from the Federal government for the NIBRS implementation project.
As one of the safest cities in the country, Murrieta prides itself on their FBI crime statistics each year. After publication, those statistics are then reviewed and tallied by a variety of entities, which in turn rank each city. Some rankings look at violent crime, while others consider the cost of crime, and some focus on property crime, among other metrics. The FBI doesn’t necessarily rank cities, but rather they supply the data that is used to rank cities making these ranking a moving target each year.
Murrieta Police Chief Anthony Conrad recognizes that this new method of tracking crime statistics via NIBRS is going to look different than it did under the UCR guidelines. As of 2022, UCR data will no longer be recognized by the FBI and many cities and counties will not have FBI statistics in place to support crime rankings for their jurisdictions.
To address the potential perception that an agency has a higher crime level with this new system, NIBRS has established a baseline that more precisely captures reported crime in a community. Other cities may not conform to this new required standard for years to come, yet Murrieta will continue to have FBI-approved crime rankings.