Virginia State Police criminal history database down, restoration in progress

Virginia State Police said that they are working on restoring a network that police and courts use to access criminal background checks following an outage Thursday.

Virginia State Police said that they are working on restoring a network that police and courts use to access criminal background checks following an outage on Thursday.

Police said they are making progress on the Virginia Criminal Information Network, which is used to check prior offenses, sexual offender registry, protective orders, as well as background checks when purchasing a firearm. The VCIN is used by law enforcement agencies, courts and even businesses.



VSP Superintendent Col. Gary T. Settle said in a statement that they recognize the “seriousness of this issue and its impact to our many stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors.”

As of Friday morning, a state police news release said access was restored for Virginia law enforcement queries, and the current focus is to reinstate affiliated systems, including criminal history and firearms transaction checks.

“If they’re doing a traffic stop on the side of the road, they can query the VCIN system through their mobile laptop. However, that’s just one layer of a very comprehensive, massive database,” said VSP spokesperson Corinne Geller, who added that no one is being denied a firearm at this time. “They’re just simply being delayed from purchasing it.”

The outage happened when the fire suppression system was triggered at the VSP administrative headquarters in North Chesterfield. There was no fire, but the system’s activation adversely affected the server that supports the VCIN and several affiliated programs, police said.

“We’re talking about terabytes of information that we are still putting back together and recovering,” Geller said.

Settle said a “corps of dedicated IT professionals and vendors” are working to restore the network and its programs as quickly as possible. State police didn’t say how long it will take to restore the system.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

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