The records management system (RMS) is responsible for the overall management of all police records. It is meant to speed up time for arrests, obtain information on suspects and share information with other officers and law enforcement agencies. Documents obtained by the Press, however, reveal the complete opposite: The system has cost more money, wasted time and resources, and has resulted in ballooning overtime and operational costs.
Nassau hired IXP, a public safety and emergency response consulting firm, to help the police department choose a vendor to build and install the new computer system’s mainframe at police headquarters and put a terminal in each police car, for an initial fee of $484,607. Intergraph, a global software company, submitted a bid that was far lower than any of the other companies, totaling approximately $5,415,000. Motorola’s bid was $2.5 million more and Lockheed Martin was over $18 million more.
IXP made the recommendation to hire Intergraph. Soon after beginning work, not only did the costs for Intergraph rapidly escalate, records show the county started having problems with IXP as well. The company was forced to return money to the county for “documents not delivered” and “milestones not met,” documents show.
The department’s only comment on the matter has been that IXP’s contract was originally negotiated to run between 2003 and 2008, but was terminated early when it was determined that their services were no longer needed in 2007.
Intergraph’s costs continued to grow to $9,086,000—more than $3,671,000 of their original agreement, according to the records. In addition, throughout the past four years, management costs for the computer system added another $2,714,000.
Experts with knowledge of the troubled system—who because of their present role as consultants in the computer industry asked to remain anonymous—tell the Press the RMS is still not working, and probably never will. RMS—first brought into the department more than five years ago—was only recently put to the test. A pilot program was implemented in the Eighth Precinct; since then, many cops claim it has been a total failure.
“One simple DWI arrest took 24 hours to process because RMS didn’t have the section for DWI for a construction vehicle, too many screens that do not flow into one another,” reads an Aug. 16, 2011, letter from Carver to Krumpter outlining his many complaints with the system. “The extended time it takes to process an arrest causes numerous arrests to run into the assigned officer’s next tour, the effect of the nine-hour rule [internal protocol meant to ensure a police officer has enough time between shifts for them to get needed rest], leaving many posts uncovered at the start of the tour for longer periods of time endangering public safety.”
Nassau Detectives’ Association President Glenn Ciccone echoes these concerns, saying detectives spend too much time entering information and not enough time solving crimes. He wants Mangano to fix this wasteful multimillion-dollar hemorrhage instead of shuttering precincts.
“They are spending more money on a computer system than saving on closing precincts, which is the life blood of law enforcement,” blasts Ciccone.
While the cops keep racking up overtime as a direct result of the system, another computer consultant with direct knowledge of it describes the setup this way: “The software is literally archaic, dysfunctional and runs on an obsolete platform.”
Krumpter tells the Press he does not know why that system was purchased, other than it was the cheapest bid. He acknowledges its problems but says major modifications have been made. The biggest challenge was “to bring the system in line with technical process time,” he tells the Press, adding that he told Intergraph personnel that he will not allow the system to become a “cash cow.”
Acknowledging problems will not fix problems, says Carver. While the overtime costs continue to climb because of the inefficient computer system, the department tried assuring him they tested the program before it went online in the Eighth Precinct.
“[But they] released it with the defects still there,” he says. “It causes the police officer to spend way too many hours processing arrests. Instead, patrols cars are taken off the street for long periods of time, leaving neighborhoods unpatrolled.”