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City of Dallas calls IT protocols 'inadequate' in 131-page report on police data loss

The city report said the data consisted of "archived images, video, audio, case notes, and other items collected by the Dallas Police Department."

DALLAS — Dallas' city information technology department sent a 131-page report to city council on Thursday, detailing the massive data loss involving police records earlier this year and attributing the issue to "inadequate" protocols among IT staff.

The report confirmed that 22 terabytes of data, involving more than 8 million records, were deleted in the loss, which happened in March.

About 14 terabytes were recovered, but the rest was permanently lost.

The city report said the data consisted of "archived images, video, audio, case notes, and other items collected by the Dallas Police Department."

The Dallas District Attorney's Office and police are "continually providing" the city's IT department with a list of priority cases that might need recovered evidence.

RELATED: Dallas City manager in the hot seat by the city council over lost data at the Dallas Police Department

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"We understand the magnitude and seriousness of the situation and will continue to work diligently with DPD to recover as much data as possible," the report said.

The data loss happened when a city IT employee was migrating the files from a cloud service to an on-site data archive with the city, the report said.

The city's full report on the data loss can be read here.

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office had to work with Dallas police to ensure all evidence was available for pending cases. At one point, a man facing a murder charge was released on bond as police worked to determine if any of his case files were missing. They ultimately were able to confirm all evidence was available.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax came under scrutiny when the data loss was first reported by WFAA in August.

City councilmembers grilled Broadnax, questioning why he didn't inform them earlier about the data loss.

"The responsibility to communicate did not live up to my expectations or to the council, and the community and I acknowledge we could have done better," Broadnax said.

Broadnax in August said the IT employee responsible for the data loss did not follow proper protocols and that the department should have had more safeguards in place to prevent such a loss.

The report released this week said the IT department "must implement and appropriately operate adequate management controls systems including asset and inventory management systems." 

The report also recommended better backup policies, such as keeping more copies of data and storing those copies on different devices.

The report criticized the IT staff's training and encouraged more "depth of job functions" for their tasks.

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