“The New York City Police Department takes in millions of dollars in cash each year as evidence, often keeping the money through a procedure called civil forfeiture. But as New York City lawmakers pressed for greater transparency into how much was being seized and from whom, a department official claimed providing that information would be nearly impossible—because querying the 4-year old computer system that tracks evidence and property for the data would “lead to system crashes.” – Ars Technica
This sounds pretty ridiculous. The logic of this “business model” just doesn’t add up. If you can make more money by counting more money: go invest. Of course, we see bureaucracy denying logic, empathy and natural behavior every day but if moviemakers have already realized how CG rendering farms make blockbusters cough up the extra money governments can follow the same business scheme. Give more processing power gain more insight.
The concept of storing millions of dollars in an outdated system is strange, and as the article writes the hardware and the framework shouldn’t be a problem on the technology side. Most likely NYPD does not or cannot employ enough IT specialists and accountants to maintain a more efficiently working system. Whether the management still believes in “good ol’ police work” that is done on paper or simply they are just lacking the funds is an open question. The irony of the situation though that they are sitting on a huge pile of cash they can’t access.
As a cybersecurity professional my thoughts are with the people working there, cybersecurity tends to be as underfinanced as many other key operations like this one.