Police chief defends department (computer error)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Police Chief defends department Heather Holeman TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 12 - Fourty Topeka Police officers will take lie detector tests to find out how and why thousands of dollars became missing from the department.

And if that isnt embarrassing enough, the police chief says a truckload of evidence has been accidentally destroyed. With 50-thousand pieces of evidence passing through the Topeka Police Departments property room every year, keeping up with it all can be tough. Thats why officers depend on a computer program to let them know when and what evidence can be destroyed. But this time, the computer malfunctioned sending a truckload full of evidence to be destroyed. The mistake leaves as many as 20 court cases without important evidence. But its not just the computer software at fault, Police Chief Dean Forster says officers should have caught the mistake.

I am disappointed and I am embarrased, and I apologize to the citizens of Topeka and to the prosecutors for the inconvenience that this is going to cause and any doubt that this may cause with the Topeka Police department. And thats just half of it. Theres also the mystery of the missing money...almost 65-hundred dollars. That money was last seen in February inside a safe. Its disappeared and the chief doesnt know whether it was a mistake or something more. To find out, 40 officers are being investigated through interviews, polygraph tests, and financial record checks.

Forster said There isnt anything being left unturned, as far as what were looking into and the officers are being cooperative; the reason theyre being cooperative is because I dont think they have anything to hide. And neither does the Police Chief. He invited the media to talk about the situations Tuesday afternoon. The chief says even though the investigations arent finished, the City of Topeka should know whats going on. Weve never attempted to cover up anything in this department, nor will we ever as long as Im the chief of this department Forster said. Its this openess he hopes will keep Topeka citizens trusting those who protect and serve the city. The department is taking steps to make sure these mistakes dont happen again.

Theyre reprogramming computer software inside the property room and changing the combination on the property room safe and decreasing the number of officers who know the safes combination.


-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 12, 2000



-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 12, 2000.


This is a good example of finger pointing. This is what is how people behave when things go wrong.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 12, 2000.

I just spoke to an officer from my town today and in his words "the counties computers are crashing left and right". As an example, he said that license plate checks which used to take just a minute or two are now taking anywhere from 60-90 minutes. This makes traffic stops very difficult to say the least (they don't know if the car is stolen, if the driver has a record of violence, etc.). He said they were trying to get the company in CA that wrote the software to come out and repair it but that they were swamped and wouldn't be able to do anything in the foreseeable future. And this is just ONE of the systems that has been crashing.

So much for Y2K being "over"...


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), January 12, 2000.

This means the District Attorney will be unable to prosecute cases associated with the missing evidence. 20 cases for 50,000 pieces? maybe, or maybe every case pending and all those others that would be set for trial by now or in the next 6-8 months -- except that the County docteing system is probably also not compliant.

NEXT QUESTION: what happens when the alleged criminals MUST BE RELEASED for lack of evidence and want of prosecution, and then, hit the street and announce that Y2K is "freebie" for the underground?

-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.tree), January 12, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ