The Dallas police department recently switched from its decades-old mainframe system to a new, $4 million records management system. The department also launched a new field-based report system. The roll-out wasn’t considered a success.

“This system is probably the greatest change in the way we do things in the police department that’s happened in my in my career,” said Maj. Scott Bratcher, a 33-year veteran who is overseeing the project. “We’re changing the way we report every incident, the way we categorize the information, and then the way we manage our cases from here on out – and it all changed in one minute. Unfortunately for us, we probably underestimated the impact that it was going to have on certain functions and we created bottlenecks for ourselves. A lot of it is user error.”

Houston television station, KHOU, brought this interesting news to our attention in their story, “DPD: Records management system roll out allowed 3 prisoners to go free.” Blaming the technology is easy, but the project process and training must take its fair share of the blame.

Melody K. Smith

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