Complying with federal reform mandates may cost the Oakland Police Department and the City of Oakland millions more, as they look to purchase a new computer system to track police data and complaints against officers.

The current system, which was built in house despite the purchase of a $315,000 system, crashes, fails to track progress, and has hindered reforms to police oversight that were mandated by the federal court system. When working, the system can help identify problem behaviors or trends in officers and allow supervisors to step in before lines are crossed. However, the system is eight years old, leading to glitches and crashes.

The software’s effectiveness is impeded by how cumbersome it is. Information does not automatically populate into the database, and each case must be manually entered, a huge task for an already under-staffed department. While officials have not released information on the bid for the new system, it is estimated that the cost could exceed $3 million.

From the Bay Citizen:

Under pressure to meet court-ordered reform deadlines, the Oakland Police Department is considering spending millions of dollars on a computer system to track police data and complaints against officers, The Bay Citizen has learned.

The city already spent $315,000 on a similar program by Motorola in 2005, then immediately shelved the program and built its own. Although other cities across the country are using the same Motorola software with few problems, Oakland’s home-built system often crashes and has data errors and other problems, making it impossible to complete the mandated reforms.

Read the full article here.