Cops can't afford hard drive space? WTF?

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    Jan 10, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    I had some stuff stolen about 18 months ago. Apparently the dollar amount wasn't high enough to warrant an actual investigation. (The thieves used my credit cards at places that probably had security cameras, used my phone and left records, etc. But that would take too much effort to track down.) Anyway, I realized that the stuff is gone for good and all but forgotten by now.

    But, I just got a letter saying that my stolen items and their serial numbers are being purged from the police database. WTF? Do lines in a database really cost that much to maintain? I would think there's an outside chance that they could tack a couple of counts of theft on to a future drug-raid. Basically for free.

    *sigh* If only the IRS would get that stingy, and purge some of their records.

    /random rant
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    Jan 11, 2012 12:04 AM GMT
    And by "database" what they probably mean is that their Microsoft Excel file got too big and took forever to load, so they started deleting rows, and yours was one of them. Trust me, companies ABUSE the hell out of Excel.
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:06 AM GMT
    SoloXCRacer saidAnd by "database" what they probably mean is that their Microsoft Excel file got too big and took forever to load, so they started deleting rows, and yours was one of them. Trust me, companies ABUSE the hell out of Excel.


    This.

    I <3 the shit out of Excel...
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:08 AM GMT
    Or it's their means of saying "we're done caring about your case and this letter establishes statute for you to not bother us about it ever again".
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    Jan 11, 2012 1:59 AM GMT
    You guys think the "Oregon Law Enforcement Data System" is an excel worksheet? Maybe so, but I'm sure it cost many of millions of dollars.

    And I'm sure that the cops "stopped caring" about my case the minute they hung up the phone, two years ago.

    I'm betting that it costs more to purge these records than it would to keep them. That is, it gives a room full of bureaucrats something to do.
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    Jan 11, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    Did you not keep this information yourself? The police probably have uncompressed pictures and video stored on the same hard drives. When you're talking of these kinds of media files, hard drive space becomes very difficult to maintain. Also, realize that very large storage systems require a lot of power and administration.

    An uncompressed photo could be up to 5MB each. Uncompressed video? We're talking a few hundred MB, easily.

    A well maintained data storage solution includes regular backing up to two places and then purging of these files from active hard drives. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the police have backed up these files with an off-site vendor like Iron Mountain. Find that out.
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    Jan 11, 2012 2:55 AM GMT
    Or perhaps they have smaller drives on older systems (realistic) because the tax payers don't want to devout any more money to purchase new things. Pick your poison, do you want dips at every corner sidewalk and chirpers or do you want new and upgraded computer systems to track your stolen items.

    This is a typical example of how the tax payers need to start making some hard decisions on what it is they want their tax money to fund. Everyone wants all these programs and safety issues but they all come with a cost and the government, at any level, doesn't make money.

    PS: Sorry your stuff got stolen in the first place, that sucks. I've been there and it can really piss you off.
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:48 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidI had some stuff stolen about 18 months ago. Apparently the dollar amount wasn't high enough to warrant an actual investigation. (The thieves used my credit cards at places that probably had security cameras, used my phone and left records, etc. But that would take too much effort to track down.) Anyway, I realized that the stuff is gone for good and all but forgotten by now.

    But, I just got a letter saying that my stolen items and their serial numbers are being purged from the police database. WTF? Do lines in a database really cost that much to maintain? I would think there's an outside chance that they could tack a couple of counts of theft on to a future drug-raid. Basically for free.

    *sigh* If only the IRS would get that stingy, and purge some of their records.

    /random rant


    I think credit card theft falls under a whole different category, its weird they would say it wasn't a high enough $$ amount.
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    Jan 11, 2012 3:58 AM GMT
    Trust me, if they have a DB it's probably completely out of whack - Corporations can't do anything right worth shit. It still amazes me how much I see @ work that makes me go icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 1:29 AM GMT
    It MAY not be excel.... It maybe MS Access. icon_razz.gif

    I'm thinking it just came up on some time limit posted in a big thick manual on how to handle inactive/non-interest cases and 18-24 months is when they review and subsequently purge files.
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    Jan 17, 2012 6:14 PM GMT
    Coincidentally, I just saw a news article that said their hardware maintenance budget is $2.3 million (it got cut 30%). In five minutes of googling, I wasn't able to discover what their actual data system budget is. That's one expensive spreadsheet.