“That’s insane.” These were the words a Supreme Court Judge uttered again and again, when the NYPD admitted it had no backups in place for its Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS).
And it’s hard to disagree. If the database was to go down, all the NYPD’s data on stored evidence would simply cease to exist. Millions of dollars’ worth of property seized each year through arrests and civil asset forfeiture would simply be… gone.
If you’re a baffled IT expert, there’s more. The NYPD also claimed they couldn’t provide the Manhattan judge – or anyone – with data on what they had seized because queries would “lead to system crashes and significant delays during the intake and release process.”
That’s right. A audit query would allegedly cause the system to fail. The City Attorney then stated the police department’s IT department did not keep backups, and only knew the database “was in IBM.”
The judge’s response was immediate. “Do you want the Daily News to be reporting that you have no copy of the data?… That deserves an exposé in the New York Times.”