O.C. Police Detention Center Suffers "Catastrophic" Failure - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

O.C. Police Detention Center Suffers "Catastrophic" Failure


OCEAN CITY, Md.- Officers sit at a security computer system, watching over detainees, in the detainment area on 65th Street in Ocean City. Last August, the Ocean City Police Department lost control of its detention center because the computer used to run the detainment area crashed. 

"When it crashed it went into the manual override mode," said Ocean City Police Department spokeswoman Lindsay O' Neal.

O'Neal said doors at the detention center were locking and unlocking all on their own. Officers had to use keys to get in and out of jail cells. Town engineer Terry McGean said the system crashed not once, but twice.

"The first failure was basically a computer failure," said McGean. "The second failure, which was the more critical failure, occurred later; doors in the detention area were opening, randomly opening, and closing; locking and unlocking."

Although it is only a short term detainment center, 3000 detainees were processed in the department last year, according to police. 

It's a busy detention center, which makes officers worry because much of the system is still not functioning with the summer just weeks away. 

"Those are the ones that are currently down as the result of the computer failure," said O'Neal.

The town's IT staff were able to get some it up and running. But there's no technical support because the system was installed in 1994, then updated in 2006. So McGean asked the council to approve the purchase of a new one hundred-thousand dollar security system.

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