San Diego Police Battle Law Enforcement Database Issues – NBC 7 San Diego

NBC 7’s Alexis Rivas takes a closer look at the SDPD’s response to reports of violence at a Rancho Penasquitos woman’s condo and heard from a police chief about why police may have had the wrong information.

The circumstances surrounding the death of a Rancho Penasquitos woman raise questions about what exactly police know when responding to calls. An NBC 7 investigation last month looked closely at the scrutiny San Diego police are facing over their actions the night before Connie Dadkhah’s body was found in her apartment.

About 12 hours before the discovery, San Diego police decided not to break in. They had arrived at the scene nearly two hours after several neighbors repeatedly called 911. First, neighbors told dispatchers that a screaming man was trying to break into Connie’s condo, then reported that he had managed to force his way through a sliding glass patio door. When the police arrived, they got no response when they knocked on the front door and called Connie’s phone. So they left.

Connie Dadkhah Family

An undated photo of Connie Dadkhah

San Diego Police Homicide Lt. Steve Sheblowski said the decision not to enter the condo was based on one piece of information.

“There was a reasonable interpretation that this man was living there,” Shebloski said.

Shebloski shared a bit of what he says responding officers saw on their patrol car’s computer screens that night. A sentence linking Connie’s address to the suspect. Police say this information, known as the PAC file, is why officers thought he might be living there, and that’s why they decided not to break into the condo. Connie.

San Diego Police Quote This

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San Diego police cite this “PAC file” as why they believe the suspect lived at Connie Dadkhah’s address.

NBC 7 Investigates was unable to confirm whether the suspect ever lived with Connie, but found there was other information available that may have led police to make different decisions that night.

Including:

  • A report detailing a police call to the condo in April, two months before Connie’s death, where officers responded to a violent incident between her and the suspect. Officers reported that she had visible injuries. A video NBC 7 has seen, which has not been made public, shows the officers taking pictures of Connie’s neck and arm. Connie told police the suspect did not live there and said there was no previous domestic relationship between the two.
  • The suspect was arrested and charged with vandalism in 2020. He pleaded guilty and his probation for the case included a court order forbidding him to stay away from Connie. It was still in effect when she died.
  • This active probation also included a waiver of the 4th Amendment, which allows police to search the suspect in public or enter their home, without a warrant.

Police told us that officers responding the night of June 14 were unaware of the April incident. However, police will not reveal whether officers knew the suspect was on probation, saying only that they should have made an effort to seek out this information.

NBC 7 Investigates has asked police for more sample PAC files to see what kind of information they typically contain, but an SDPD spokesperson said they won’t release that information and don’t know. was not public records. We have also repeatedly requested an interview with Chef David Nisleit to answer questions that have arisen since our original story aired. We were told he was just too busy.

We fight the myth of the CSI a bit…

Chief Rick Scott, San Luis Obispo Police Department

Many of these questions relate to exactly what officers know when responding to an emergency. We learned that outdated software and multiple databases create information disaggregation, which often keeps police in the dark. To better understand exactly what information officers have at their fingertips and what they don’t, NBC 7 Investigates drove six hours to sit down with a police chief who wasn’t too busy for our questions.

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott gave us a crash course in law enforcement databases.

“We’re fighting the CSI myth a bit,” Scott told us. “When the CSI show came out, there was a big misunderstanding that every police department had this wide range of resources to solve crime, and that’s just not the case.”

The number of connected systems and databases is huge.

“We have our computer aided dispatch,” Scott said. “These are maps and places you need to go. Then we have our RMS, which is our records management system of reports that have been written. Then we have our name database, and these are the people we’ve met in the past that we’ve managed your license for or given you a citation for that will live in our name database. And then we also have a connection to an outside database which is our court system, and then another connection to a state or federal database, which is our background or criminal background check system. All of these things usually don’t reside in one computer system and we have to go to different areas to collect this information.

When emergencies arise, time is a major factor. Scott described what it’s like for agents who may have minutes to get to a call. They may not know exactly what information to look for, no matter what system has it. Also, each police department uses different software depending on what they can afford. The result, he says, is a convoluted and outdated information network that is not standardized and was never designed to share information.

Who runs their business with 15-year-old technology? Nobody.

Chief Rick Scott, San Luis Obispo Police Department

“I think you see how these systems are disconnected and they really are,” Scott said. “And that’s a challenge for all law enforcement.”

Chief Scott agreed it sounded like the Wild West.

“That’s one of the challenges we have, just sharing information sometimes internally among our staff can be a challenge because these systems are so disparate that it’s very difficult to integrate them and it’s expensive,” said Scott.

Scott told us that many police departments use clunky software by today’s standards.

“Who runs their business with 15-year-old technology? Nobody,” Scott said.

NBC 7 Investigates also spoke with Cameron Gary about the importance of getting information about responders to help them make life-saving decisions. Gary has over 30 years of law enforcement experience, working with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. He remembers instances where a lack of information dramatically changed the way he answered calls.

After seeing our investigation into the police response to Connie’s death, Gary told us, “My only question is what did they know?

Like every expert we’ve spoken to since our first story about Connie’s death aired, Gary believes there was enough context at the scene to force entry, even if officers weren’t at the scene. aware of the 4th Amendment waiver or court restraining order.

“When I saw it, I was like, ‘Wow, couldn’t you write a welfare check? “, Gary said. “Do a welfare check, man, at least. And then if it’s nothing, you know ‘Hey, I’m sorry. We broke your door. The city, we gon’ pay , sorry, but we’re going to make sure nobody gets hurt. I think that’s our first priority.

As San Diego Police continue to review this incident, Gary says we can make sure it never happens again by improving how officers obtain and share information.

“We have to find a way to better empower these officers or better educate them,” Gary said. “That way they will have as much information as possible to make the best possible decision to prevent anyone from being hurt or even killed in this case.”

NBC 7 Investigates has repeatedly asked San Diego police for a complete list of law enforcement database systems they use, but they never gave us the information. We therefore reviewed publicly available SDPD policy and procedure documents, training manuals, and public records portals. Here are some of the databases used and what they do.

  • NetRMS – Network Records Management System – An internal San Diego Police Department application used for storage and retrieval of information collected by law enforcement personnel
  • ARJIS – Automatic Regional Justice Information System – A county-wide system, which includes but is not limited to crimes, adult arrests, contact with minors, field interviews , misdemeanor citations, traffic accidents and traffic citations information.
  • San Diego County Computer System – A county-wide system, which includes but is not limited to local criminal history information, county jail booking information, city attorney information, district attorney district, courts and probation.
  • CLETS – California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System – A statewide system, which includes but is not limited to state criminal history, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records, missing persons , stolen vehicles and stolen property files. This system is also connected to NCIC – National Crime Information Center, CJIS – Criminal Justice Information Services, and NETS – the International Justice & Public Security Network.

Chief Scott said he would like to see these types of database systems standardized into one, but says that’s unlikely due to cost. He says it could work at the regional level, where local law enforcement similarly access and share information.

“There’s a higher level of expectation from our community about our abilities,” Scott said. “You have some type of experience with other technologies that are normal for you. We need to replicate that experience with law enforcement.

To do this, Scott says his department will soon offer a mobile app service similar to the one you might use when ordering food delivery. If you call 911, they will tell you what time to expect officers, if a report is made, what the next steps are, and ask for feedback on your experience with the police.

The man accused of killing Connie, Parrish Chambers Jr., is charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty.