City Auditor: Denver Police computer server was at risk of 'total loss'

Auditor highlights problems with police servers

DENVER - A Denver Auditor report obtained by 7NEWS shows a main computer server used by the Denver Police Department was at risk of "total loss."

The server is used by the department for everything from processing mug shots of suspects to recording arrest records.

"If you were ever to lose that you wouldn't ever prosecute a case in Denver again, " said Denis Berckefeldt, spokesman for the Denver Auditor's Office. "Fortunately, there were no records lost and they're going to solve the problem now.

The audit highlighted two major concerns with the police computer server. One, the main server and backup server were located in the same room, which would've been catastrophic in the case of a disaster like a fire. The second problem highlighted, the backup server was operating at near capacity.

After the audit, the backup server was moved to another location and the City Council recently approved more than $1 million buy an improved backup server.

"With police data, we can't just take that data and move it anywhere," said Ethan Wain, deputy chief information officer for the City and County of Denver. "We opted to keep that data safe and it took a while to build up that network to the point that we were comfortable with moving that data off."

Wain said the capacity issues on the backup server were partly to blame on court orders surrounding lawsuits that required the department to retain certain files and records. Wain insisted the server was never compromised.

The problems highlighted in the auditor's report could've posed security concerns considering the DPD server sees around 2,500 hacking attempts per month. 

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