PULSE, in case you’re wondering, stands for Police Using Leading Systems Effectively, a name that screams Retro-Acronym.
More importantly, PULSE is the computer database used by An Garda Síochána to record details of everything from police intelligence on criminal gangs to whether you’ve racked up any penalty points in your driving licence.
Basically, there’s a big computer (or possibly several of them, networked together) in the Phoenix Park headquarters of the force, which can be accessed from terminal in selected Garda stations around the country.
The cost of the system to date is in the region of €60miilion.
I have to say, when I first read that figure, it struck me as remarkably cheap.
PULSE has been criticised since its introduction by Garda and other organisations, and is widely regarded as clunky, expensive, and poorly designed. As far as I can tell, no police force in any other jurisdiction has expressed an interest in buying the system.
Unfortunately, getting information on PULSE isn’t straightforward, thanks to a combination of the Garda instinct to keep things secret for fear of compromising operations and civil service reticence about project costs.