Computer glitch prompts 50 raids on elderly couple's home
51st time's the charm
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to an elderly Brooklyn couple on Friday for about 50 door-pounding visits police made to their home resulting from a glitch in one of the department's computers.
Police used the address of Rose and and Walter Martin's modest home as part of "random material" to test the automated computer system that tracks crime complaints and records internal police information, a department official told the Associated Press. As a result, police over the past four years have repeatedly banged on their doors and demanded the couple open up.
The most recent raid came Tuesday, when officers pounded on both the front and back doors of the modest abode yelling "Police, open up!"
Police officials thought they had resolved the problem in 2007, when the couple's address was wiped from the system, but that assessment was later proven wrong.
This time, police officials say, the Martins' address has been flagged with an alert, "so if there's any record indicating an officer should visit the address, 'they're barred from doing it,'" the AP said here.
An automated system that tells police not to visit an elderly couple's address? We wouldn't be surprised if the rule of unintended consequences strikes again. ®
In four years they haven't been able to fix a major bug in their system, and have now given up and kludged round it? Their computer system is Not Fit For Purpose. If it's so complex that they can't track that fault down, it must be riddled with other bugs. People are going to die because of faults in that system.
And in fifty events, not one of the police has learnt that there's a problem with that address and they should check before raiding it, so they have to use a computer kludge to do it for them?
By the way, were the alarms completely bogus, or were fifty other people left wondering why the police were ignoring their emergency call?
One good thing about it though. They're lucky they're in New York. If they were in London the Met would have shot them the first time.
problem finally resolved...
...and so now they have the perfect hideout!
I'm sure that Harry Buttle can sympathize with them!