#NCIC database consists of 18 files. Seven property files contain records for articles, boats, guns, license plates, securities, vehicles, and vehicle and boat parts. The 11 person files are the Convicted Sexual Offender Registry, Foreign Fugitive, Identity Theft, Immigration Violator, Missing Person, Protection Order, Supervised Release, Unidentified Person, U.S. Secret Service Protective, Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization, and Wanted Person Files. In addition, the database contains images that can be associated with NCIC records to assist agencies in identifying people and property items. The Interstate Identification Index, which contains automated criminal history record information, is also accessible through the same network as the NCIC.
Since its inception, the NCIC has operated under a shared management concept between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state and federal criminal justice agencies. The general policy concerning the philosophy, concept, and operational principles of the System is based upon the recommendations of the CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) to the Director of the FBI. Top administrators from local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies throughout the United States make up the APB.
The FBI maintains the host computer while providing a telecommunication network to the CJIS Systems Agency (CSA) in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Canada, as well as federal criminal justice agencies. A CSA is a criminal justice agency that has overall responsibility for the administration and usage of the NCIC within a district, state, territory, or federal agency. Those agencies generally operate their own computer systems, providing NCIC access to virtually all local criminal justice agencies. Through this cooperative network, law enforcement personnel have direct on-line access to enter or search millions of records for persons and property.
How the NCIC is used
Criminal justice agencies enter records into the NCIC, which are, in turn, accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. For example, a law enforcement officer can conduct an inquiry of