LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Although the Los Angeles Police Department needs to upgrade thousands of its old computers, the longtime problem may get swept under the rug again in the next city budget, some City Council members said today during a joint committee meeting.
“We push for this every year to be included in the budget. And every year, without fail, it's not,” Councilman Mitchell Englander said.
The LAPD needs roughly $10 million to address its urgent technology needs, a report from the city's Information Technology Agency said, and although the members of the City Council committees seemed in agreement on the importance of the upgrades, some advised the department to clearly outline the evidence in the budget request on how they would save the department manpower hours and money.
Englander, who is also a reserve officer with the LAPD, said at the meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee and Public Safety Committee that the tech needs of the department is a long-term problem that has been brushed aside for many years.
“Every year we have this conversation and we end up in the same place. We'll note and file this, we'll move on. The budget will come out the first quarter of next year, and it won't be included,” Englander said.
Englander also said it can take up to an hour simply to reboot some of the department's computers, costing an untold amount of officers' time.
The ITA report said the LAPD maintains approximately 8,000 workstations, and about 3,000 are over seven years old. Over the years additional software has been put into place that places additional demands on the computers, which has resulted in reduced performance and slower response from the computers, the report said. Around $3.897 million is needed to replace the 3,000 old computers.
The report also said that $4 million is needed for year four of a multi-year project to implement a modern records management system. The new RMS will replace 25 legacy mainframe applications, some over 30 years old, with a consolidated system with modern technology, the report said.
Around $2.1 million is also needed to support the department's body- worn video system, and another $2.5 million is needed to continue deployment of the digital in-car video system.
“We need to do it all. We need to do it all now. We need to stop wasting our officers' time and money,” Councilman Paul Koretz said.
Councilman Paul Krekorian, the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, advised the LAPD and ITA to make a strong argument in the official budget request for the upcoming fiscal year.
“I think all we need is the evidence to be able to demonstrate what we all assume, so that we can in fact make the argument that this has to be one of the highest priorities,” Krekorian said.
He added, “It's such a better investment than hiring more officers, at a fraction of the cost.”
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