6-20 Incident-Based Reporting

Policy Type: Local

Responsible Office: Chief of Police, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department

Initial Policy Approved: 8/26/2013

Current Revision Approved: 1/19/2021



The purpose of this directive is to establish the policy and procedures for submission and processing of Incident-Based Reports (IBR). Department members shall complete and maintain an IBR for all criminal incidents and administrative reports as applicable. Officers shall enter reports into the Records Management System (RMS) using Mobile Field Reporting (MFR). These systems are accessible for officers to use at all times. When entering a report in MFR, the reporting officer must carefully review the report to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all report information and correct IBR classification(s) prior to electronic submission to the appropriate supervisor in MFR. The applicable supervisor will subsequently review the report for accuracy and approval in the system. All validated reports are ultimately submitted to the Virginia Department of State Police (VSP) on a monthly basis.


Accountability Statement 

All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any policy violations are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.



  1. INCIDENT – One or more offenses committed by the same offender or group of offenders acting in concert and at the same time and place, as well as non-criminal matters or activities for which a police report is required.
  2. INCIDENT-BASED REPORT – The IBR provides for the recording of information to describe the incident, offense category, a public and officer narrative, victim, suspect, vehicles, and property. VSP IBR Guidelines determine the appropriate offense classification(s) and types of required information based upon the circumstances of the incident.
  3. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION – This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Name
    2. Date of birth
    3. Social security number
    4. Driver’s license number
    5. Address
    6. Passport number (if available)
    7. Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources, obtain identification, act as identification or be used to obtain goods or services
    8. NOTE: Student V numbers obtained through CS Gold shall not be entered into RMS or within Computer Automated Dispatch (CAD) records, as this information is part of a student’s education record and is protected from disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  4. RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (RMS) – Application and database used to collect incident data, to include criminal and non-criminal incidents, arrests, summonses, accidents, field contacts, case management, probation and parole, pawn and name records. RMS also contains Internal Affairs data, including citizen complaints, use of force, department vehicle accidents, injuries and pursuits. RMS may also include employee data, department vehicle information, and officer equipment data. RMS utilizes an incident numbering system that ensures that a unique number is assigned to each report, allows for an alphabetic master name index, and the ability to classify and query incident records by offense type, date and location.



  1. There are three types of reports in RMS, an administrative report, an IBR and an IBR Supplemental Report (used to document additional information gathered after the original IBR is submitted). All VCUPD officers have access to VSP’s Incident-Based Guide Manual, the IBR and MFR Training Manuals, and the Supervisor’s MFR Manual which are located on the Patrol shared drive.
  2. An IBR or administrative report shall be documented within RMS for the following instances:
    1. Reports of crime
    2. Violations of VCU policy that are brought to the attention of the VCUPD
    3. Calls for service or assistance to individuals on campus
    4. Cases resulting from officer-initiated activities
    5. Assistance provided to outside agencies performing official duties on university property
    6. Cases resulting in an arrest, citation or summons
  3. Additional forms may be required for other offenses, such as:
    1. Death investigations (not suspicious in nature), which require the completion of a Death Report Summary Form which is to be completed electronically from the Death Investigation button on page 2 of the incident report in MFR.
    2. Domestic Assault offenses, which require the completion of a Family Abuse Form which is to be completed electronically from the Domestic Violence button on page 2 of the incident report in MFR.
  4. RMS has a process for tracking the status of all reports in the system. Every IBR requires one of eight status codes:
    1. Pending - Initial Report: Every IBR needs to be reviewed and reclassified from the “pending – initial report” status within 10 days of receiving the report.
    2. Pending - Active: Indicates that the IBR is subject to an active and ongoing investigation. The assigned detective shall make this determination and modify the status, as needed.
    3. Pending - Inactive: Indicates that the IBR investigation has been initiated, but cannot be completed (i.e., due to lack of victim response). The assigned detective shall make this determination and modify the status, as needed.
    4. Pending - Screened: Indicates that the IBR was reviewed and there is no further avenue for investigation. The assigned detective shall make this determination and modify the status, as needed.
    5. Cleared by Arrest: Indicates that at least one individual has been arrested for the offense. The supplement must contain the name, date of birth, address, etc., of the arrested party.
    6. Pending - Warrants Obtained: Indicates that the IBR resulted in a warrant being obtained and placed on file with Dispatch.
    7. Unfounded: A crime is considered unfounded only if sworn law enforcement personnel make a formal determination that the report is false or baseless. Crime reports can be properly determined to be false only if the evidence from a complete and thorough investigation establishes that the crime reported was not, in fact, completed or attempted in any manner. Crime reports can be determined to be baseless only if the allegations reported did not meet the elements of the offense or were improperly classified as crimes in the first place. For a classification of “unfounded,” the reasons for the finding must be stated in the investigative summary. The assigned detective shall make this determination and modify the status, as needed.
      1. NOTE: A reported crime cannot be designated ‘‘unfounded’’ if no investigation was conducted or the investigation was not completed. Nor can a crime report be designated unfounded merely because the investigation failed to prove that the crime occurred; this would be an inconclusive or unsubstantiated investigation.
    8. Exceptional Clearance: All of the below conditions must be satisfied in order to clear an offense by exceptional means. The assigned detective shall make this determination and modify the status, as needed.
      1. The investigation definitively established the identity of the offender, including their full name, age, race and sex. 
      2. There is enough information to support an arrest, make a charge, and turn over the offender to the court for prosecution.
      3. The exact location of the offender must be known such that they could be taken into custody immediately.
      4. Encountered circumstances that were beyond the control of law enforcement that prohibit the agency from arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender.
        1. NOTE: A case status change to “exceptionally cleared” must include the name of the attorney for the Commonwealth who approved the IBR status change within the notes field.
      5. Examples of exceptional clearances include, but are not limited to: the death of the offender (e.g., suicide or justifiably killed by police or citizen); the victim’s refusal to cooperate with the prosecution after the offender has been identified; or the denial of extradition because the offender committed a crime in another jurisdiction and is being prosecuted for that offense.
  5. The right to modify offense codes on incident reports is restricted to detectives, detective supervisors and records management personnel. Any changes to offense codes shall be completed within 30 days of the report entry. The reason for the change of offense classification shall be appended to the officer’s narrative. The ability to change the wording in any report narrative is restricted to authorized users. Users are only permitted to append information within report narratives.
  6. When applicable, case status shall be modified in case management. Modifying a case status shall be restricted to detectives, detective supervisors and records management personnel. Case status shall not be modified on the first page of an incident report, unless the incident has not been assigned in case management.



  1. Responsibilities of the Reporting Officer(s) and Supervisor(s):
    1. Dispatch must provide the officer with an incident identification number by marking the officer out of service on that call, regardless of whether or not the officer was dispatched by VCUPD Dispatch. This includes situations in which the officer effects an arrest while working off-duty overtime or in any situation where the incident was not assigned by Dispatch.
      1. Dispatch must provide the officer with a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) number, which serves as the 12 digit incident number (YYYY-MMDD-####). The reporting officer must enter this number into the appropriate field(s) in the IBR form using MFR. When clearing from the call, the officer must use the disposition code of 40 as the first code given.
      2. In situations in which an officer is investigating one incident and discovers or is informed of other offenses that are occurring or have occurred, and the offenses are not related to the original incident, the officer must obtain a separate CAD number and complete a separate IBR.
    2. An IBR shall be completed for all executed search warrants. If the search warrant is a secondary incident, it shall be listed as a subsequent offense on the IBR (i.e., incidents involving arrests or search warrants obtained at crime scenes). The incident code for all drug-related search warrants, including documents, cellular phones or any other warrant used in support of a narcotics investigation, is 99SWD. All other search warrants must be entered as 99SWO.
    3. When an officer responds to the location of the complainant/victim, the officer must conduct a preliminary investigation. The officer must attempt to locate and identify the victim(s), identify, locate and arrest the suspect(s), and record the required information.
    4. If an officer is unsure whether a crime occurred, they must consult with a supervisor before submitting a report. If a supervisor is unavailable, the officer must record all information necessary for completion of the report in their notebook and submit the report after consultation with a supervisor. At no time will the submission of a report be delayed beyond the reporting officer’s completion of their tour of duty.
    5. Officers shall use discretion in determining whether an IBR report shall be taken when the jurisdiction of the offense cannot be determined. In most cases, when the jurisdiction of the offense is unknown, information regarding the offense must be placed in the “Append Note Section” of the CAD call by the officer using I/Mobile on the mobile data computer (MDC). The complainant shall be provided with the CAD number for the call if no IBR is taken.
    6. Procedures for Jurisdiction of Origin for Fraud Crimes:
      1. If a person’s identifying information has been fraudulently used without their authorization, the transaction or use of their information transpired at VCU, and the person is deemed to be a victim of Identity Theft at VCU, an IBR must be completed and the case must be investigated.
      2. If a person’s identifying information has been fraudulently used without their authorization, and the transaction or use of information did not transpire at VCU, an administrative report must be completed and the complainant must be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the offense (if able to be determined).
    7. If the officer determines that the criminal offense did not occur at VCU, other than fraud crimes described in the preceding section, a report must not be completed and the officer shall append notes to the CAD call by using the MDC. The officer shall direct the complainant to the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the offense.
    8. All officers shall complete reports prior to marking off their assigned tour of duty, including on and off-duty overtime assignments.
    9. After completing the preliminary investigation and the initial report, the officer shall check the report for spelling and grammatical errors and correct all errors, mark the report as “Ready to be Submitted” (RTBS), and submit the report for supervisory review in MFR. As soon as possible, the supervisor shall review the report, and approve or deny it electronically. Once the supervisor electronically approves the report, they are stating that the report is complete and correct.
    10. If the supervisor has denied the report, it is the officer’s responsibility to make all necessary corrections and/or additions, mark it as “RTBS” and re-submit the report for supervisory review and approval. If a report is denied by the supervisor, the report shall be corrected and re-submitted for supervisor approval by the reporting officer prior to the officer marking off their assigned tour of duty, whenever possible.
  2. Responsibilities of the Investigative Supervisor:
    1. Review the IBR for accuracy and completeness
    2. Assign the IBR in RMS for follow-up investigation, as applicable
    3. Monitor the progress of the investigations and evaluate the results of the case
    4. Monitor the investigating officer’s updates to the case in RMS to ensure that all investigative information on the case is available in RMS’ Case Management System module
  3. Responsibilities of Investigative Personnel:
    1. If the detective makes an arrest as a result of the follow-up investigation, the arresting detective must prepare a case folder for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
    2. For cases in which a uniformed officer makes an arrest, the detective must perform the necessary follow up to find out whether the arrestee has committed any other offenses
    3. Update the incident in RMS to ensure that all pertinent information, including related names, property and vehicles are entered in the report and the case status is up-to-date and accurate
  4. Responsibilities of Off-Duty Officers:
    1. If the off-duty overtime officer has access to the MFR application and department equipment, the officer shall enter and electronically submit the report via MFR for supervisory review. If the officer does not have access to the MFR application, then the officer shall call for an on-duty officer to enter and submit the report electronically for supervisor review in MFR.
  5. Responsibilities of the IT Manager and Records Division:
    1. The IT Manager shall ensure the security of the department’s computerized records as follows:
      1. The IT Manager shall work with the RMS administrator for the Richmond Police Department to ensure that the integrity of the records management computer system is preserved
      2. The IT Manager shall ensure restricted access is maintained to promote physical security
    2. The Director of Business Operations shall work with the RMS administrator at the Richmond Police Department to establish password administration procedures and updates, as needed.
    3. The Records Analysts shall perform “Name Candidating” in RMS for all subject names pending verification into RMS on a regular basis.
      1. If a name cannot be verified due to missing information, a Records Analyst shall contact the reporting officer to acquire the missing information, when possible
      2. The reporting officer shall contact a Records Analyst if a name entry is incomplete and there is no further information available
    4. The Records Analysts shall complete the IBR data validation process and correct all IBR errors on a regular basis. Once the data validation process has been completed for the preceding month, the Records Analysts must notify the Records Manager.
    5. The Records Manager will subsequently create the monthly data submission file for upload to VSP’s web-based repository site by or before the 15th of each month (or the preceding business day).
    6. If VSP returns any errors after the monthly data submission, the Records Analysts must correct the errors and the Records Manager will resubmit the corrected data to VSP.
    7. All record requests received by department personnel must be submitted to the Records Manager for appropriate handling and response. The Records Division is responsible for receiving and processing all requests for criminal history and other department-related records and reports. This includes, but is not limited to the following types of requests:
      1. Reports requested by university departments
      2. Reports requested by other law-enforcement agencies
      3. Reports requested by insurance companies
      4. Reports requested by members of the community, to include students and parents
      5. Background investigation materials concerning current or former students or employees
  6. It is the department’s policy to create a criminal history file for each person under custodial arrest and the files shall be compatible with the requirements of the Virginia CCRE.
    1. Accordingly, the department must adhere to the following procedures:
      1. Ensure the criminal records system is accessible 24 hours a day
      2. Shall not disseminate information, except as permitted by law
      3. Prevent unauthorized access and release of information for juvenile records
      4. Comply with the Library of Virginia’s State Record Retention General Schedule 117 (see Written Directive: 3-6 Records Management for additional information)


Related Forms and Documents 

  1. Incident-Based Report
  2. Supplemental Incident-Based report
  3. Administrative Report
  4. Library of Virginia’s Record Retention Schedule GS-117
  5. Written Directive: 3-6 Records Management


Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

8/26/2013 - 6-20 Incident-Based Reporting