Deputy Chief Will Wolfburg said on Monday the department can now tap back into the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing, or COLLECT, system.
More than 180 local, state and federal agencies feed information into that system, which allows police departments to retrieve information from a pair of in-state and two national databases: the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network (NLETS).
Locally, the COLLECT and NCIC systems are regularly used by police to check the status of individuals and vehicles during the course of a call, Wolfburg said.
“We run a vehicle to see if it’s been stolen and the status of a driver, like if there are any active warrants or protective orders issued for people in a vehicle,” he said. “Since the (cyber attack), we’ve had to rely on Putnam and state police to do those kind of informational searches for us, but now we’re back to being self-sufficient in that area.”
Putnam police Chief Christopher Ferace said helping out Plainfield didn’t entail a lot of extra work for his folks.
“But it doesn’t matter if it did,” he said. “No matter how much work it takes, you do what you have to help out a neighboring department.”
In mid-March, hackers gained access to police and town hall computer systems, encrypting files and holding the data hostage as part of a demand for $199,000 in bit coin. The “ransomware” attack affected phone lines, laptops, records’ systems and a host of other components.
Wolfburg said all the department’s phone lines are back up, as is its email system and officer body camera capabilities. There was concern those cameras would be rendered useless as they filled up with footage without a place to store it.
“We still can’t do electronic fingerprinting – which mainly affects our ability to conduct pistol permit and employee hiring requests – and our records system is still inaccessible,” he said.
The department was poised to shift to a…