Jun 14, 2022 - News

Allen is one of the few local police departments that did not report FBI crime data

Data: FBI, The Marshall Project; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios Visuals

Texas law enforcement agencies performed better than many counterparts across the country in reporting annual crime statistics to the FBI last year, according to data provided to Axios from a partnership with The Marshall Project.

The big picture: In Texas, 73% of the roughly 1,200 jurisdictions in The Marshall Project's data set submitted crime statistics covering all 12 months of 2021.

  • Most Dallas-Fort Worth police agencies have entered all of their stats, unlike the Allen Police Department.

Yes, but: Nearly 40% of law enforcement agencies around the country, including departments in New York City and Los Angeles, didn't submit any data in 2021.

Why it matters: The lack of data nationally makes it harder to analyze crime trends, per The Marshall Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. criminal justice watchdog. And it could be exploited by politicians in midterm election campaigns already dominated by public fear over a rise in violent crime.

  • "It's going to be really hard for policymakers to look at what crime looks like in their own community and compare it to similar communities," Jacob Kaplan, a criminologist at Princeton University, told The Marshall Project.
Data: FBI, The Marshall Project; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios Visuals
Data: FBI, The Marshall Project; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios Visuals

The backdrop: Last year, the FBI retired its nearly century-old national crime data collection program and switched to a new system, the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which gathers more specific information on each incident.

  • The FBI announced the transition years ago and the federal government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help local police make the switch, yet nearly 7,000 of the nation's 18,000 law enforcement agencies did not send crime data to the voluntary program in 2021.

What happened: The Allen Police Department is in the process of switching to a new record management system that will be compatible with the FBI's system.

  • "We will resume sending FBI data when this transition is complete," Allen Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Jonathan Maness tells Axios.

Meanwhile, Dallas, the largest local police department, switched to NIBRS in 2018 and submitted data for all of 2021.


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