The FBI plans to add a "violent offender file" to its NCIC index in August to give field officers more information about the violent offenders who may attack them during a stop.
The file would provide information such as whether a subject has been convicted of assault or murder of a law enforcement officer, fleeing, resisting arrest, or other crimes against officers.
The file would also include whether a person has been convicted of murder or attempted murder involving a firearm. The FBI would also include information about individuals who have expressed an intent to commit violence against law enforcement.
Officers could access the information from a computer in their cruiser or when they call dispatch to have them run an NCIC check, said Stephen Fischer, chief of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) division.
"The ultimate goal of the Violent Offender File is to provide law enforcement officers a direct warning during the most critical time in which they will approach the encountered individual with the utmost caution, realizing the individual has the propensity to be violent against law enforcement," Fischer told POLICE Magazine in an e-mail.
The move was welcomed by the Torrance (Calif.) Police Department as an effective officer-safety measure.
"The more intel an officer has at his or her disposal during field contacts can only contribute positively to officer safety," said department spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Uyeda.
The Violent Offender File would be a file in the NCIC similar to Wanted Persons, Sex Offenders, or other files. The CJIS' Advisory Policy Board must approve the policy at a meeting in Buffalo, N.Y., from June 6-7. Meeting details have been published in the Federal Register.
By Paul Clinton