Philly's Cameras Cost 20x More Than Planned

By Carlton Purvis, Published Apr 22, 2013, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

Last year, the City of Philadelphia commissioned a review of its multi-million dollar surveillance system. In the planning stages, the system's cost was estimated at around $3,000 per camera, but the actual cost so far has been $136,000 per functioning camera at $13.9 million, with an additional $3.2 million awarded after the original contract for replacement cameras, repairs and maintenance, the audit found.

According to the 30-page final report, more than half (53%) of the city’s 216 surveillance cameras weren’t working. Of 20 cameras randomly selected by auditors, only nine could actually provide video images. Ten of them needed to be repaired or weren’t in use for unreported reasons. Additionally, the portable overt digital surveillance systems (PODSS), which were supposed to be moveable throughout the city to cover crime hot spots, haven’t moved since installation because they are “too heavy.”

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Messy ******* Purchase, installation and maintenance is overseen by the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology. Not only did the audit find that the OIT wasn’t maintaining records properly, but many cameras that were purchased were never installed. The city was using AXIS and Sony cameras which were both under one-year warranties, according to the report, but because of poor record keeping, OIT doesn’t know which cameras they are and may have paid for repairs and replacements of cameras under still warranty. Several cameras from the original contract are still sitting in a warehouse unboxed.

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Comments (2)

They may be non-functional, but at least they're expensive.

This comes to mind, a tale of two boats, the original contract in the forefront, change order in the background

A tale of two boats!

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