NIBRS and investigations

Multiple posts? There’s two posts referencing NIBRS, and one of them is by you. If you’re having an issue with your clearance, it might be due to a lack of honesty.


I am going to play devils advocate here to kick the hornets nest.

****** Disclaimer******

All the below information is non classified and available online to anyone who can search google.

There are many posts where he references NIBRS to include this forum, Reddit and federal soup.

I find that interesting, considering the FBI only collects generalized demographic data sets from crime data with regards to NIBRS; such as race age etc. You cannot trace CHRI from NIBRS, as it contains no PII.

But as soon as N-dex is mentioned, everyone shuts up real quick on this forum… so I find it interesting when investigators state they can’t talk about internal systems or what databases they use; but they have no problem talking about how they use “NIBRS, NCIC, NLETS…

Maybe that’s because N-Dex controversially allows direct access to police reports; regardless if there were no formal charges or no recorded arrest, which completely sidesteps the legal due process or probable cause necessary for a true arrest: in determining criminality. Any cop can write anything they want in an unvetted police report… especially if the issue never reaches the court. (*Unlike true database arrests that require positive suspect ID like fingerprints, or formal charges that require evidence lab analysis)

I have seen some police reports that contain blatantly false or sensationalized information.

(N-Dex was originally developed for anti terror and law enforcement use only. )

But most likely: Perhaps, they don’t speak about the use of N-Dex, because it may only be used to dig deeper into legit arrest database HITs/ known issues, and not as an initial CHRI screen like NCIC.

The FBI n-dex users manual (available to anyone online) states there are ORI and “use”codes that allow security clearance investigators to use the N-Dex to investigate clearances holders.

Handgun background check investigators only resort to using N-Dex if they find a database record (ie bonafide HIT from arrest record) but cannot get the local police report… I believe that may be the same policy for the security clearance process… if so, there is a potential plethora of criminal activity that goes undetected.

Clearance investigators also cannot subscribe to someone’s name on the n-dex, so they cannot follow in real time every lost dog report or seatbelt violation with the subjects name. I believe this may make the N-dex useless for CE.

Mirador- the automated record check system used by the DOD for CE: checks databases such as LexisNexis, NLETS, NCIC, experian, equifax, ect but no mention of N-Dex.

I bet if there was knowledge confirming the N-Dex is used as an initial screen just like the NCIC; people who had run ins with the law, which didn’t result in arrest booking or formal charges would think twice about lying about that time the cop took their weed without arrests/ charges…

There is no offense taken. Just be aware that the security process is very sensitive and even general details are annotated as restricted information.

If mentioning NIBRS sticks in the craw, then just realize the intent is to educate others that expungement and sealed are not concrete actions. Lying about your past hoping expunged/sealed records are out of reach - well that is foolish especially when the expunged/sealed records are over issues that we actually consider minor. The lying about them is what kills the clearance.

Thank you for noticing I try to help on several forums. I hope you also notice I try to only post to clarify or help others understand. I try not to randomly post because there are too many that want to debate policy, which I try to avoid along with religion and political topics.

WIthout violating any rules, I will say that individual agents/investigators don’t root around the federal databases. We have others provide that research data for us. There are enough local databases and CLEA/court sources to keep us busy.

Subjects that think it is okay to lie often don’t get the job/clearance. We don’t want people who won’t lie simply because they know we might find out. We want honest people so they can’t be blackmailed and we know what the risk we are taking.

I don’t advocate oversharing. Just be honest when answering the SCA questions. That would be refreshing.

Well how about people who have had run ins with the law that did not result in charges or even a formal arrest: thus no database record nor court record? How are instances like those discovered and handled? Especially if the law enforcement agency is not located within the subjects area of residence, work or school?

Are they discovered through a database drawing information straight from police RMS records or from the police departments directly?

A little knowledge about this would go a long way in terms of discouraging lying and making your job easier.

A little knowledge could also be used to hide information or further try to subvert the process. My job would be easier if the honest and almost honest would fill out the questionnaire correctly and honestly. I already know the dishonest will not fill out the questionnaire correctly or honestly.


Even activity without fingerprints?

Do you work in the clearance investigation business?

Not clearance investigations, but I have handled other types of BIs in the past. I will say you have some “interesting” ideas about law enforcement though:

*Any cop can write anything they want in an unvetted police report… especially if the issue never reaches the court. (Unlike true database arrests that require positive suspect ID like fingerprints, or formal charges that require evidence lab analysis)

If a police officer catches someone engaged in illegal activity they can arrest them. Even without “evidence lab analysis”. I would argue most cases never see the inside of a crime lab.

What I was referring to is an example of an incident such as:

Let’s say cops pull two people over in a car.

Cop sees a nervous passenger so he lies and states he smelled something and search the car without permission or warrant.

Cop gets lucky and takes a bag of weed from the passenger in the car, as well as both occupants id’s. He then writes up a report that they both constructively possessed in a police report, despite the fact the driver had no idea about his passengers habits.

Cop tells them they are off the hook and drives away and no one in that car is charged or arrested, or ever hears anything about the incident again.

The driver is never arrested or charged, but he now has a findable police report that can be held against him for clearance purposes: Despite not being arrested, charged, or perhaps even knowing what was written in the report. That driver has not been through the proper due process afforded to us by the constitution, no innocent until proven guilty, all while being truly innocent.

Basically that cop could have written whatever his heart desired, whether lie or truth in that police report, especially if it is never seen by a judge.

Now if any BI can see that report via N-dex or through data such as NIBRS; our “subject” can be considered guilty despite the fact he was never charged or arrested.

BIs should only have access to formal arrests, citations, tickets and charges. Because those are vetted by judges and DAs ( and yes I agree with you all that they should still be seen even if they were dismissed/ expunged). That’s the way our CJ system is designed to work because that requires police to bear the burden of proof, and be truthful and objective in their accusations. Much harder to BS a DA than it is for a cop to write whatever they want on a report, which they believe will never be used to backup an arrest or charge.

Clearance investigators should not have access to raw police reports such as those found on N-Dex, which did not result in charges, arrests, citations ect. You are foolish to think all cops are honest and professional. Especially if they have no intention of filling charges. There are incentives to boosting UCR statistics which can impact department funding.

Not good if the clearance investigation process collects any and all police reports via n-dex and hold them against their subject despite the lack of true arrest, citation, or charge.

Do you have an issue with investigators speaking with past employers, neighbors and developing sources? That is also unverified information from people who have even less to lose by lying then a police officer.

Being named on a report where weed was found in a car most likely isn’t going to prevent you from getting a clearance or job if you are honest about it.

By the way, I have seen plenty of people who should be nowhere near a security clearance or government job who have very few formal charges for a variety of reasons (i.e. domestic abusers whose victims don’t want to press formal charges yet call the police to have the subject removed from the home for the night)

What are the chances the report would even be found by investigators if the incident happened on the other side of the state from where said person lives?