Lawton Police Department continues to struggle with digital virus

Lawton Police Department continues to struggle with digital virus

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The City of Lawton is still dealing with a digital virus that affected more than 500 computers and departments nearly five weeks ago.

According to city officials, The Departments of Human Resources, Finance and Revenue Services and the Municipal Court are now fully operational, but The Lawton Police Department is still being affected.

Chief James Smith said even though their network server is down, the department is still functioning.They are responding to calls, investigating crimes, and helping people in need. But behind the scenes they are doing things a little different.

The biggest problem the department is facing is their record system. The system is part of the network and stores all of the offense reports, accident reports, and citations. Smith said the department's police clerks are also having to change up their work routines by manually entering information from the reports onto a document or spreadsheet.
"There desktop is up and functioning, they are putting them into a system but it's not in our server. So, it's just like your own individual computer your typing it up and you have to store it there but everyone cannot access it. If you put it into the server then everybody that needs to get that information will have access to it," said Smith.

Not having access to documents in the server causes some delays in how detectives get information and access some of the files in homicides and cold cases. But it hasn't changed how they do their jobs.

"One of things we did is go back to how we use to do things. Sometimes you have to get out and gets your boots on the ground and start knocking on doors. So, the detectives are working on the cases that they have and getting those solved," said Smith.

Smith said its been a challenge working around the virus, but he only sees it as an inconvenience.

"Just like everything else once you get use to something you kind of rely on that and the information we use and how we communicate each day is used through emails and digital methods. It kind of hampered a lot of our communications but that we are still able to communicate with all our divisions, our personnel, and get information out that we need," said Smith.

Smith said he doesn't know how long it will take for the police department to bounce back once the server is restored, but knows the city is doing whatever it takes to fix it.

"That's going to be kind of hard to answer, our offense reports, and accident reports, and citations have to be entered into the system and right now it can't be done it's going to take a while.But once the system gets back up and running we would start entering those reports in and caught up, but we would still have a back log. So, we would work very diligently in getting those forms and information in as soon as possible," said Smith.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.