What’s happening? 

At a time when the city’s homicide rate is one of the highest in the nation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will not include data from Baltimore City in its annual crime report for 2021, reports Lindsay Watts for Fox 5 D.C.

Why is Baltimore excluded from the report? 

The Baltimore Police Department joins other law enforcement agencies, including those in Washington D.C. and Howard County, who are not using the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)– the database from which the yearly report is composed. 

“We’re in the dark on important issues and the impact is we’re going to continue to be in the dark,” said Jeff Asher, co-founder of the consulting firm, AH Datalytics, that has written about the NIBRS system.

The FBI said it has supplied millions in funding to help some agencies make the switch to this system, but other budget, technology and manpower challenges may have contributed to the slow transition.

“Participation from all agencies expands the understanding of crime in the metropolitan and suburban areas and will highlight possible migration patterns of crime across regions allowing an accurate nationwide picture of crime in the United States,” the FBI wrote in a statement to Fox 5 D.C. 

Anything else I should know? 

Although it is not mandatory, the Baltimore Police announced that the agency will begin reporting data to the NIBRS this month, more than a year after the FBI’s January 2021 deadline to transition. More than half of law enforcement agencies in the country have converted to this system since the FBI announced the deadline in 2015. 

You can read more here.