Missing in Action: Handling Agency Nonresponse in the UCR

Joseph Targonski, University of Illinois at Chicago
Michael D. Maltz, University of Illinois at Chicago

Nonresponse of police agencies has been a problem with the UCR since its inception. In order to obtain state and national estimates, the FBI uses a cross-sectional method of imputation to fill in the missing data points. This has been the standard procedure since 1958 and has not been tested against other imputation methods. We have been working on thoroughly cleaning and examining the agency-level files from 1977-2000, and have been putting together longitudinal files for monthly offenses-known crime data. Using this file we are testing the current cross-sectional imputation method against a longitudinal procedure that takes into account an agency's past crime counts and the type of "missingness" it experiences.

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Updated 05/20/2006