Police Buy $1.7 Million Paper Weights

Routers purchased by West Virginia State Police two years ago lack critical components and licenses needed for use with the state's voicemail system, rendering them useless as-is.

by / October 25, 2012

State Police in West Virginia are sitting on $1.7 million of unusable technology. Officials bought 77 high-speed Internet routers two years ago, but only one of the routers is fully functional, while the others lack essential modules for use with the state's voicemail systems, the Charleston Gazette reported.

The needed component upgrades would cost about $440,000, which includes voicemail hardware for each router and a $100 license for each of the state's 1,700 phones. The Office of Technology accepted proposals for $9 million left from a $126.3 million federal grant, but state police did not submit a proposal. The state is required to return any funds unspent by Feb. 13 to the federal government.

"We simply can't use the routers as-is unless we put them in front of our existing equipment, which in my opinion, would be creating another point of failure," wrote Bill Gallagher, information technology director at the State Police, in an email to state technology office administrator Nick Patel.

Additionally, state police have so far missed the opportunity to take advantage of two free years of the five year warranty service that came with the hardware. The U.S. Commerce Department Inspector General's office is now reviewing the state's use of the federal stimulus funds. The audit followed a series of reports in the Charleston Gazette that raised questions about the size and cost of the routers.

An in-depth report can be found at the Charleston Gazette.

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