Illinois criminal computer database temporarily down Thursday

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation

ByChuck Goudie and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Police left in dark as Illinois crime database offline
For more than a full day last weekend police in Chicago and hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Illinois were unable to access LEADS.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The I-Team has learned that Illinois' LEADS criminal database was temporarily down again Thursday, causing problems for law enforcement agencies statewide.

Illinois State Police officials told the I-Team that they were notified of a "delay" with the system at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, but resolved the issue after a 2-hour delay. Officials said they don't believe the system was undergoing a cyber-attack. They said Thursday's problems were related to the system maintenance this past weekend.

A planned outage for this coming weekend has already been called off after the I-Team reported concerns from law enforcement about whether patrol work could be safely carried out without access to criminal information.

For more than a full day this past weekend, police statewide were unable to access LEADS. That outage stretched from last Saturday morning into Sunday--24 hours longer than state police had promised in a memo to local departments.

Thursday, Cook County officials told the I-Team that they were in contact with Illinois State Police, working to develop a work around solution to minimize impact on law enforcement operations.

For officers making traffic stops and arrests, the LEADS database is "an indispensable tool in the risk assessment decision-making process" according to Illinois State Police records.

The computer link to Springfield provides information on current warrants, arrests and charges, previous convictions and suspects' prison sentences. LEADS also identifies sex offenders, child murderers, orders of protection and basic driver's license information.