36,000 Obsolete Smartphones at the Center of NYPD Procurement Mess


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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Feds call Denver ordinance “dangerous”; major IT upgrades in San Francisco; and water pressure busts pipes in booming N.C. town.

Due to ongoing flood disaster in Texas, we’re offering an abbreviated state and local government news roundup.

LAW ENFORCEMENT TECH | The New York Police Department plans to junk 36,000 smartphones it issued to cops over the past two years because the devices are obsolete and can’t be upgraded. Microsoft recently decided to stop supporting the operating system for the phones and custom-engineered mobile applications. Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch was to blame for the situation with the smartphones and that “she drove the whole process” of procuring them. “Nobody purchases 36,000 phones based on the judgment of one person,” one source said. “I don’t care if you’re Jesus f- -king Christ, you get a panel of experts.” [New York Post]

IMMIGRATION | The Denver City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance that prohibits local government employees from inquiring as to a person’s immigration status, sharing that status or assisting federal authorities with enforcement. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement labeled the ordinance “dangerous,” though it’s considered moderate for continuing to notify the agency prior to the release of wanted undocumented immigrants. “We’re not going to let anyone [enlist local police] to do their dirty work,” said Councilman Paul López. “Not even a sitting U.S. president, not even a rogue agency. If you have any business with us whatsoever, we ask one thing—show us a warrant.” [The Denver Post]

CIVIC TECH | The city and county of San Francisco is undergoing the biggest technological upgrade in its history leading to new services, starting with a new, $60 million computing system to administer the budget, invoices, procurement and payment, and payroll. Soon the city’s Department of Health will be getting its own system to track patient records. When all’s said and done, 80 subsystems for each city department will be interconnected. [San Francisco Chronicle]

TRANSPORTATION | One of Uber’s self-driving vehicles was reportedly involved in a fender-bender in San Francisco’s Richmond District earlier this month. The Volvo XC90 was rear-ended on Aug. 16 by a Toyota Tacoma, according to a report Uber submitted to the state. The Uber vehicle sustained minor damage and the driver of it later complained about wrist discomfort. There were no other injuries reported. [San Francisco Examiner]

HOUSING | Downtown Boise, Idaho is gaining popularity as a residential neighborhood. But, as this trend unfolds, housing prices are becoming unaffordable for some people who want to live there. Mike Brown, co-owner of LocalConstruct, a Los Angeles developer active in Boise, predicted that “downtown is going to be relatively high-end—not exclusively luxury product, but certainly not the least expensive product, either.” [Idaho Statesman]

INFRASTRUCTURE | In Cary, North Carolina, just outside Raleigh, some homeowners were surprised by busted pipes when water pressure was changed as part of a local water tank construction projects. The town, which mailed letters to 920 homeowners in the affected neighborhood about checking the pressure reducing valves in July, is dealing with seven damage claims from earlier in the month. [The News & Observer]