Marceline Police Department purchased a new computer system with funds made available by the Department of Justice last month.

The computers utilize a new reporting system created by the FBI which gives more accurate reports of incidents.

Marceline Police Chief Bob Donelson applied for the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) grantfrom the DOJ last July. Marceline Police was selected as part of the target group for the NIBRS system four years ago. Funding became available for the program last year when the department was able to apply. Marceline was randomly selected along with 400 other police departments around the country. Marceline Police purchased and installed the new computer system in March and will receive reimbursement from the DOJ.

The grant covered $46,000 worth of new computers for Marceline Police. Eight new workstations and five new mobile data terminals were purchased with the grant. The new system can be used remotely and the mobile data terminals connect directly to the station system. The new computers allowed Marceline to update their previous system.

The previous computer system had been patchwork using old equipment. Marceline Police had received many computers from Missouri through a program run in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The state would receive decommissioned military computers and make them available to law enforcement agencies at no cost. This program no longer exists.

According to Donelson, the old system was not very reliable.

“The computers we received were used and usually didn’t last very long,” Donelson said.

The NIBRS system is a new reporting system, which focuses on reporting incidents, as opposed to summary-based reporting. Summary-based reporting allowed for seven or eight offenses to be reported. NIBRS allows for more than 50 different incidents to be reported. The FBI created NIBRS, which it states will provide more accurate reports. NIBRS will become mandatory for all police departments in the year 2021. Until then the system is being tested for accuracy.

Marceline Police is currently testing out NIBRS. The target group of police departments will have to be certified on NIBRS after the testing period.

According to Donelson, Marceline Police is becoming familiar with NIBRS.

“The intent is to collect data, then test weekly for three months,” Donelson said. “We’re testing for data accuracy.”

A public hearing will be held by Marceline Police later this fall about NIBRS. The hearing will explain the new system to the citizens of Marceline.