DALLAS – Dallas Police Chief David Brown says he and his department are frustrated after the launch of a new digital records system.
“We recognize this is not acceptable. We won’t accept it. We’re highly frustrated, but we’re doing all we can to make it right,” he said.
Chief Brown admits his department expected problems when they installed a new digital records system on June 1, but not enough for city councilmen to question public safety..
“If violent offenders are getting out, that's obviously a horrendous public safety problem,” said Philip Kingston, Dallas City Councilman for District 14.
In two and a half weeks, documents have been lost in the system. Paperwork isn’t filing on time, and it has lead to the accidental release of 25 people from jail -- eight of them violent offenders.
“One is too many. It’s not acceptable, and we’ve expressed that to the vendor, and our team, and they’re working as diligently as they can to fix that,” said the chief.
Officers are now trying to track down those criminals. Chief Brown blames it on two things: the slow speed of the current system and officer know-how. Everyone in the department was trained on the system 18 months ago, but few attended recent sessions meant to refresh their memory.
“I would have liked to see a lot more of our officers utilize the training that was available,” said Chief Brown. Some of it…was a voluntary thing.”
He maintains the upgrade was needed and will make DPD better at its job, once these growing pains come to an end.
“I’m just asking the citizenry to bear with us as we get through this,” he said.
The chief says he's paying overtime to officers who are tracking down lost records, and has the software developer working on short-term technical fixes. He's hoping to have most issues resolved in a few weeks, and then start searching for a permanent fix.