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.”