New Police Computer System Error Sets Three Inmates Free

Major Scott Bratcher in a press conference, fielding questions about DPD's new computer system.
Major Scott Bratcher in a press conference, fielding questions about DPD's new computer system.
Dallas Police Department

It's never been a better time to get busted in Dallas, at least for inmates Willie Brown, James Langley and Jose Morquecho, who were each politely escorted out of the county jail on Thursday and set free thanks to an error caused by officers' unfamiliarity with a new computer system.

On June 1, a new field reporting system and records management system were launched. But the system has been off to a shaky start. Apparently officers didn't factor in a learning curve adjustment in using the system.

"This system is probably the greatest change in the way we do things in the police department," said Major Scott Bratcher in a press conference. "We're changing the way we report every incident, the way we categorize the information, and the way we manage our cases from here on out. And it all changed in one minute."

Bratcher admits the department has underestimated the difficulties in adjusting to the new system. Field officers complained of difficulty in reporting cases. Over 600 reports were sent back to officers for correction in the first few days of the system, because officers didn't know how to properly fill out newfangled online forms.

Bratcher says only nine people were delegated to train the 3,500 department employees on the new computer system. But, he says, now the department is down to fewer than 200 returned reports. "Things seem to be getting better. We knew this was going to have a big impact on the department, we were just a little short on how big an impact."

The three released inmates are nonviolent offenders, and were arrested for home burglary, felony theft, and vehicular burglary, respectively.

"I would expect, by the end of the month, that we will have everything ironed out," Bratcher says.

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