A massive chunk of electronic evidence with the Dallas Police went missing in the spring. This resulted in Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax putting new protocols for transferring data in place.
Broadnax forwarded a memo Friday to Mayor Eric Johnson and the City Council. The memo contains the acceptance of Broadnax and his team over the responsibility regarding the deleted data from the Dallas Police Department’s database back in April.
Broadnax added that they should have informed the officials sooner regarding the data as the City Council, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, and the mayor found out about this two weeks ago. Broadnax pointed out that they were trying to find ways for the data to be found. It takes up to 45 days for the city’s Information and Technology Services Department to search through laptops, cameras, and other police devices to recover what they can, thus the late notification.
The missing data was being transferred from cloud storage to a local server. Around eight terabytes of police images, video, audio, case notes, and other important data were deleted.
Aside from taking responsibility for the loss, the memo also detailed the policy changes Broadnax and his team came up with. One of the changes is that city elected leaders will be informed of any data compromises within two hours from knowledge of such.
Two IT employees will now oversee the movement of the computer data. Further, a 14-day waiting period will be put in place before data is permanently deleted. There will also be a review of how the city stores and archives data so there can be recommendations or updates regarding the current system.
The council will be briefed about the situation by Wednesday during an executive and closed session to review and analyze the process. It will be closed to the public because the discussion involves security and legal issues. The lost data, on the other hand, will be discussed through a public meeting on Thursday.
The employee responsible for the deletion, which Broadnax said had no malice whatsoever, has not been identified. The incident is still under review, and it is unclear if they will have any disciplinary action against the employee involved.