Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
The Dallas Police Department say more than two dozen inmates have been mistakenly released from jail this month due to glitches in a new software system, including criminals arrested for violent crimes.
The Dallas Police Department says more than two dozen inmates have been mistakenly released from jail this month due to glitches in a new software system, including criminals arrested for violent crimes.
The mistakes happened because DPD started using new software this month to manage and record their records, Chief David Brown said. He said it was the biggest change in how officers report, categorize, and manage arrest records in more than 30 years.
The new software keeps all police reports in one place electronically, rather than spread out to different units. Officers have a new way to categorize information and process their reports.
But only now, Brown says, is his department fully realizing the extent of problems with the software.
He said the new system is too slow to keep up with the volume of data entered into it and many arrest records are lost in cyberspace until after the mandatory three-day-window to file charges has passed.
Last week, police confirmed that at least three burglary suspects were mistakenly released from jail.
Police leaders said delays caused by the new system prevented detectives from seeing the cases after the arrests were made until the 72-hour window to file charges had already passed.
The three wrongly released inmates were non-violent burglary suspects. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News on Friday, Major Scott Bratcher stressed that the software glitches haven't allowed any violent criminals to go free.
Police are now changing their tune, as new data comes to light with each passing day. Brown said 25 inmates have been mistakenly released this month; 17 property crime suspects and eight violent crime suspects, bringing the total to 25 inmates.
There are new warrants out for the suspects, police said, and officers are being retrained on the new software. Brown said many problems are due to "user error," filing and categorizing the reports incorrectly.
Brown said the problems may continue for several more weeks.