(credit: See-ming Lee)
As part of an ongoing legal battle to get the New York City Police Department to track money police have grabbed in cash forfeitures, an attorney for the city told a Manhattan judge on October 17 that part of the reason the NYPD can’t comply with such requests is that the department’s evidence database has no back-up.
If the database servers that power NYPD’s Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS), designed and installed by Capgemini under a $25.5 million contract between 2009 and 2012, were to fail, all data on stored evidence would simply cease to exist.
Manhattan Supreme Court judge Arlene Bluth responded repeatedly to the city’s attorney with the same phrase, Courthouse News reported: “That’s insane.”
Last year, NYPD’s Assistant Deputy Commissioner Robert Messner told the City Council’s public safety committee that “Attempts to perform the types of searches envisioned in the bill will lead to system crashes and significant delays during the intake and release process.” The claim was key to the department’s refusal to provide the data accounting for the approximately $6 million seized in cash and property every year.
As of 2013, according to the nonprofit group Bronx Defenders, the NYPD was carrying a balance sheet of more than $68 million in cash seized.
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