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Phoenix police take plunge into 21st century with technology upgrade

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department will undergo an unprecedented overhaul of its record management system.

“Single, largest technology upgrade in the history of the department,” Sgt. Trent Crump said. “It is a project that has upgraded our entire infrastructure, from our servers, to every desktop to laptop in every police car.”

The computer system is reportedly a quarter-century old.

Some police officers aren’t embracing the idea of change that will inevitably come at the end of July. “It’s going to be a huge mess, just wait and see,” said an officer who preferred to remain anonymous.

The concerns are related to the problematic transition the Dallas police department has experienced since going live with a similar records management system, which included serious snafus such as inadvertent release of inmates, crime victims left in limbo, along with hundreds of unprocessed police reports.

Crump said Phoenix can take advantage of the problems

The new system will improve efficiency and do away with archaic methods of policing. “We have detectives hand-carrying reports to the city and county attorney,” Crump said, adding the data-sharing capabilities will double.

Department leaders said there were plans in place to address any major problems that could arise. Every staff member was undergoing training and technical assistance will be available for as long as necessary.

The IT overhaul has been in the works for two years. Cost was estimated at $30 million, paid for by bonds approved by voters in 2006.