No one at this Utah police department knows how to update a computer entry. Anyway, that seems to be the problem.
The police have arrived at the front door of a man’s home, looking for a felon. The man has lived at this address for over four years. No matter. Five times the police have come in full force to arrest the missing felon.
The home owner keeps telling them the man does not live there. Five times, he has been told that the police department’s computer says this is his address.
You can see a news report here.
You might think that it would be a good idea if the police updated their computer data base to reflect this change in address. This is not possible. The data base program requires that a new address be substituted. The police do not know his new address. So, the old address stays.
How about an entry like this: “We have gone there five times over the last four years. The man does not live here.” Sorry; there is no entry box for this sort of information.
The question arises: “What is it that triggers each visit? Is this part of a schedule?” It appears that this is the case. The visits seem random because the computer program scrambles them. This keeps the felon confused. The police do not want to tip their hand about when they are coming.
An outsider might conclude that the police department is run by a total incompetent. Not because no one can update the computer. No one expects a police department to be able to do this. But the local TV station did a story on the five visits. This indicates an inability on the part of the police chief to get the media to cover up a story that makes his department look like the Keystone Cops, a usually fatal career weakness for any senior law-enforcement official.
As to where the felon is after five years, no one on the force has been assigned to the task of finding out. What is crucial is that a team of police is sent out on a randomized schedule to visit the house where he used to live. Procedure is what counts, not results. After all, this is a bureaucracy.