Phoenix Police Department reviews hundreds of cases after computer gltich

Posted at 8:46 PM, Sep 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-18 23:46:54-04

The Phoenix Police Department is are reviewing hundreds of incident reports to make sure they were properly assigned to detectives and investigated after officials discovered a glitch in the department’s record management system.

ABC15 obtained an email sent September 8th to more than 250 detectives and supervisors.

“I have discovered a problem with a number of incident records assigned to you or your personnel that require immediate attention,” the email said. “The assigned investigator serial number was entered with a space (spacebar) either before or after the serial number. The RMS recognizes spaces as a character. The result is that when you search for incidents assigned to you, any incident with this error in the assigned investigator data field will not show up.”

The full email and list of impacted incident numbers is included at the bottom of this story.

The department has recently overhauled how it manages records, spending $30 million to update its computers, software and hardware.

The new system was switched on last October.

In a spreadsheet attached to the email, it shows official identified more than 500 incident reports that may have been affected. Some of the incidents date back to last year.

In a review since the email, police said that officials determined about 425 of the incident reports involved crimes that were already reviewed and closed or documented things like found property.

Phoenix spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said the department’s review did find 75 cases are listed as open. All of those cases are now assigned.

Sgt. Howard said the incidents “run the gamut and include a wide variety of incidents reported to police.”  He added that more details about the reports and the department’s review would be available in the coming days.

The department has created a short-term fix to make sure the glitch doesn’t affect more cases, Howard said.

Officials have also asked for the system to be re-programmed to eliminate any inadvertent spaces.

The glitch is the latest issue handled by the department with the overhaul of their record system.

Over the past year, ABC15 has discovered the department has dealt with a series of problems, including other misplaced reports, outages, and inefficiencies that have bogged officers down.

In some cases, the problems have resulted in suspects being released because court paperwork was not filed on time.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at

PHX PD EMAIL by Dave Biscobing on Scribd