Intelligence gathering at the FBI —
The largest division at the FBI is the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS). In essence, it’s the FBI’s intelligence arm. It is the umbrella over a number of intelligence services including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) which is frequently mentioned in these blog posts. The CJIS was Big Data long before there were computers. In 1924 it began as a national repository for the collection of fingerprints belonging to known criminals and fingerprints found at crime scenes. Specially trained technicians developed manual strategies for matching fingerprints.
The FBI in the digital age
Beginning in 1967, with the advent of the mainframe computer, the NCIC was the first digital repository for crime statistics established by the FBI. Soon after, other aspects of crime fighting began migrating to the virtual world of computers. In 1992, the CJIS was established to oversee it all with the mission to “equip our law enforcement, national security, and intelligence community partners with the criminal justice information they need to protect the United States while preserving civil liberties.”
Burglary data is a critical crime-fighting tool
Another part of the CJIS is the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) service. According to Wikipedia, the UCR is “a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention.” All of these FBI services are here to help if citizens are willing to take a few small steps to get involved and help law enforcement professionals by completing a police report in the event of a crime.