Delayed training causes database issues for Dallas Police Department

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 7, 2014

There is a moment in some action movies when the hero, who is framed for a crime, gets pulled over by a police officer and a tense moment follows where they nervously wait for the database to be accessed that shows a warrant out for their arrest. While it makes for a memorable cinematic moment, it is something that happens on a much smaller scale many times a day in real life.

According to a recent article from KHOU — a Houston, Texas news outlet — officers in Dallas have computer systems in their cars that access two-important databases – National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) – to look up a person's criminal history, outstanding warrants and stolen vehicles. These databases are critical to not only stopping crime but also keeping officers safe. It is always dangerous to walk into a situation without knowing all the facts.

However, recently an issue arose where 123 officers, 62 of which are out in patrol, were locked out of these databases. Some of these officers found out when they were on the field and attempted to login.

This happened because the Dallas Police Department failed to keep up with regulations. Officers are required to take a training course for two years to get or remain certified to access these databases. Any officer that is not certified or allows it to lapse, is considered unauthorized. The officers that lost access were the victim of a slow training process that caused them to fall behind and an issue plagued deployment that cost $4 million.

"The training team has been assigned the last two months almost on a full-time basis to RMS," Maj. Scott Bratcher told the news source.

Several officers who lost access spoke off the record about the fact that they have not been able to enroll in new classes to get certified. One went as far as saying that because of this, there is an increased level of danger for not only the officers but also the citizens because these standard criminal background checks can no longer be run.

Most businesses do not have potential life and death circumstances attached to their databases, but that does not make them any less important to handling daily operations for the company. With the help of custom database software, any organization can create a personalized solution and ensure that all employees are trained on it.