D.C. police computer systems restored after outage

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Two of the Metropolitan Police Departments’ key computer systems were down for several hours due to a network issue this week, police confirmed.

The police department’s data-management system, called I/Leads, and Washington Area Law Enforcement System (WALES), a regional computer system that provides information on wanted persons, stolen items, and vehicles, were both down for several hours Tuesday night.

As a result, officers had to verify any open warrants on people stopped during that time through alternative means and officers making arrests had to handle paperwork manually, police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said.

“This issue was quickly resolved and had no impact on data quality,” Ms. Crump wrote in an email.

Yet it’s far from the first time the department has had issues with its computer systems.

Glitches in the I/Leads system in December kept officials from producing a key comprehensive crime report, which provided data to officials on crime rates across the city. Internal dissemination of the police department’s Morning Crime Report, which details every crime reported the previous day alongside comparative statistics from longer periods of time, was suspended for more than a month as a result.

The department began implementing the $1.8 million I/Leads program in December 2011 and discontinued use of its old record-management system in September. While transitioning between the two systems there were problems detected — including the incorrect categorization of crimes and duplication of data from a single crime — which police said they have since worked out.

Issues that cropped up during the police department’s transition from its old records management system to I/Leads also resulted in the disabling of the department’s online crime mapping technology, which allows users to access crime data for all parts of the city. The crime map was disabled in September and only recently restored in April.

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