The failure of a central computer network device has prevented Mounted Police and other police services, including the Toronto Police Service, from accessing an essential computer program they need to do their jobs, called the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) database.
According to a statement from Shared Services Canada (SSC), the latest outage began around 11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday and involved RCMP “routers supporting major networks and computer applications”.
It also affected mobile computing workstations in RCMP police cars and two other crucial internal RCMP databases, sources told CBC News.
“SSC and the RCMP have been working through the night to bring each application back online while testing for problems along the way. All network services and applications are now operational,” said the SSC statement, which was sent to CBC News. at 3 p.m. ET.
CBC News has learned that CPIC has fallen more than a dozen times since last spring.
CBC News has agreed not to report on today’s network failure until it is over so the public won’t know frontline police are at a disadvantage.
âShared Services Canada has responded to the failure of a critical core network device impacting many RCMP systems,â wrote France Bertrand, director of the RCMP’s IT operations directorate, in the first of two force-wide emails sent this morning.
“Due to network issues, CPIC is not available for the majority of sites and CPIC messaging is not available for all sites,” said Jason Sohm, another RCMP director in a second. force-wide email.
CPIC is an essential tool for all police and border guards, not just the RCMP. It allows them to check names of criminal records and warrants, receive warnings, search license plates, and it also provides frontline police with criminal history and warnings.
An officer told CBC News that working Wednesday night was “like flying blind.”
Another said it was a “huge risk to the safety of officers”.
On Wednesday, CBC News reported that the RCMP had been struggling with computer issues since Shared Services Canada took over its technical support.