City Chooses Dummy Cameras to Secure Government Building

By Carlton Purvis, Published Apr 25, 2014, 12:00am EDT

After a Massachusetts city’s government complex added one dozen cameras, the local newspaper questioned where they came from. What they found was surprising.

The Herald News in Fall River, Massachusetts saw more than a dozen cameras added to a government building overnight. Reporters thought it was suspicious that there were no wires coming from the cameras. Blinking lights on all of the cameras also seemed out of the ordinary.

These dome cameras are placed strategically at entrances and exits, clerk windows and inside elevators, but there is no mounting hardware. I talked to the newspaper who said they were able to confirm that price of the project with the mayor even though the city has refused to release those documents for “security reasons.”

There was no RFP or install contract available when IPVM contacted the city. Fall River paid $150 for all of the cameras.

City Officials Didn’t Know

City councilors for the city didn’t know anything about the project and are now questioning the purpose. It doesn't seem to have moved through the normal procurement process. The mayor’s administration says it would be willing to talk with individually with city councilors about the costs of the cameras, but would not talk about them “in an open forum” about security efforts.

Look Like Dummy Cameras

The paper is still lacking official confirmation from the city that the cameras are fake, but from photos published online, the camera looks identical to the one we tested in our dummy camera shootout from last year:

Hopefully, the city will come clean and it won’t take something bad to happen for people to realize these cameras aren't recording.

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