When Nassau County lawmakers rolled out a $5.5 million electronic record-keeping system for their police department, they hoped it would save both time and money. Three years later, they claim that it has done just the opposite.
Lawmakers say the Intergraph records management system has cost millions in police overtime and kept cops behind desks doing paperwork when they should be on the street. And now, even before the old system has been fully implemented, they are about to ask for $4.3 million to replace it.
"This is a system that was a bad idea right from the beginning," said Nassau Police Benevolent Association President Jim Carver.
Carver said the Intergraph system was rife with problems from the beginning, slowing arrest processing time to around three hours -- in some cases more than 12 hours -- and costing taxpayers a bundle.
Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter agreed that data entry started taking longer under the new system. Many facts had to be entered into the system multiple times, error messages popped up on screens unexplained, and the new software did not "communicate" with the department's old software, resulting in an unwieldy dual system.
"Every single day officers are earning overtime while they are processing arrests," Krumpter said.
Nassau Legislator David Denenberg, a Democrat from Merrick, said the Intergraph system has cost taxpayers much more than the $5.5 million initially laid out.
"I believe the costs are tens of millions more than that when you look at police overtime," he said.
Denenberg says in 2013, overtime hours were over budget. He blames Intergraph.
The I-Team asked Intergraph what specific steps were taken to help make the software work for Nassau Police. In response, the company released this statement:
"We have worked diligently with the department through every phase of the project to address any concerns. We remain committed to our customers."
Denenberg said he thinks the county should consider taking legal action against Intergraph.
"Let's recoup our taxpayers' money, that's the people's money," he said.
Krumpter said officials are considering all their options.