Crucial glitch (computer problems - Maryland's criminal redords system) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Crucial glitch

Enough of the finger-pointing and the I'm-not-to-blame game. The state's criminal records system is broken and needs to be fixed, period.

Over the last two weeks, The Washington Post has reported Maryland's criminal records system is plagued with problems, particularly where restraining or protective orders are concerned.

Among the flaws, according to The Post: Statewide computer databases are slow or sometimes inoperable, impeding timely input of protective orders; restraining or protective orders in the system frequently contain errors; some local law enforcement agencies may take weeks or even months to enter protective orders into the necessary databases.

The result? Thousands of people - primarily men against whom restraining or protective orders have been sworn out - are not in the statewide criminal records system.

This is a crucial glitch. If a person is the subject of a restraining order, he isn't supposed to be able to buy a weapon. If he is not in the criminal records system's database and tries to buy a gun, no red flag will fly during a background check and the purchase can proceed. And tragedy may result.

Authorities say errors allowed Richard Spicknall II of Laurel to buy a handgun from a College Park pawnshop despite the protective order his estranged wife obtained against him in Howard County. Spicknall has been charged with fatally shooting his two young children.

The state police say they are not to blame, even though officials reportedly have known about the problems for years. They also have not spent most of a $132,000 grant they received to help correct the problems. Local law enforcement officials say the backlog in entering protective orders can be blamed on tight budgets and the twitchy statewide computer system.

Several state lawmakers are outraged and plan to put law enforcement officials in the hot seat. The sooner the better.

The money is there, so stop whining about who's to blame and fix the problem. Lives may be at stake.

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 08, 1999


FBI Crime Database Y2K Ready, Local Systems Questionable

"You've got a lot of agencies that have less than 10 sworn officers and that's a real concern," DOJ Chief Information Officer Stephen Colgate told Newsbytes after today's press conference. To the extent that local systems fail, those agencies "may let somebody go that they shouldn't have let go," Colgate said.

"If you are going to have an issue it will probably be at the very local level," agreed President's Y2K Council Chair John Koskinen. The federal systems have been tested down to the state level, Koskinen said.

-- lisa (, November 08, 1999.

"twitchy" ?? LOL

-- glitchy (, November 08, 1999.

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