Philly's Disastrous Surveillance System Investigated

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Jun 10, 2013

Philadelphia's surveillance system is a huge mess. The last we checked, they were paying $136,000 per operational camera, with most cameras broken. Now, a new audit has been released, with more grim details, followed by more debate amongst city officials. In this note, we break down the four main issues we found from interviewing Philadelphia officials and reviewing the final report:

Finger Pointing Within Philadelphia

  • ****** ******** ***** *** *** **** *******
  • **** ** ** ***********
  • ******* ** ******** *** *********
  • ***** * ****** ***, ****** ** ******* * **** ** resolve ****

***** ** *********** ************ ******* *** **** ******* **** *** ******** the ****** ** *** ******: 

  • *** **** **** ***** ****** **** *** ******* ** * daily ***** *** ****** **** **** **% ** *** ******* working. 
  • *** ****** ** *********** *** ********** (***** ******** *** *******) claims **% ** *** ******* **** ******* ****** *** *****, 71% ***** *** *****.
  • ************ ***** ******* ****** ******** ** **** ****** ******, ****** **% **** ***********.
  • *** ************ **********'* ****** ********* *** ***** *** ***** **** **% of ******* ***********. 

*** ***** ***** ***** *********** **** **** ****** ******* ** what *** ******** ** ******** (** ***********) ** **** *** reported *** **** ***** *** *****. 

 *** ***** ***** **** ****** *** **** *********** ** *********:

“***** * ****** *** ** ** ** *** **** *** working ****** ** ******** ** *** *********** ** *** *******, it ***** ** **** ** *** *********, *** **** *****. It ** ******** **** **** ** **** ********** *** ** weather ********** (*.*., ****, ****, ***.) ** **** ** ******* ... ************, ***** ** **** ** **** **** **** ****** is ****** *** ********* *** ******, ***** * ****** *** not ** ******* *****, ***** ** * *********** **** ***** images **** **** ****** *** ** ********* **** ******** ****** the ******** ** ****.” 

****'* *** ********* ****** *** ***** *****:

  • **% ** ******** ******** ******* ****** ******** (**** **** **% worked)
  • **% *** ******** (**% *** *** **** ** ***/**% *** other ******)
  • **% *** ******* ***** ******* ******** (*** **** ** **** out ****** ** ******* ******)
  • *** ****** ** ****-**** ********* *** **** ** *** ************ system: *
  • ** ******* **** **** ******* ***** **** **** “******* *** percentage ** **** ** ****** **** * ******* ********** ** cameras *** ******* ********.”

Various ********

*** *******, *** ****** ******** ******** *** ******* ******** ***** images *** ***** ****, *** *** *** ******** *** *** work. *** ***** ***** *** **** ****** ******** ******, ******, according ** *** ******. **** ** *** ******* ******* *** some **** ** ************ ** ******** ***** ****** ***** *****. This *** ***** ***** ******* *******, **** ** “********* ** discern ****** ********, ***** ** ******** *** ********, *** ***** identifiable *******.”

*** ******** ******* *** **** ******** ********** ** *** **** image ******* ** ****, ****** *** “*** **** *** *** high ****** ** **** ** *** ****; ******** *** ** either *** ********* ** *** *******’ *********** *******. *** **** significant *********** ***** **** ******* ********** ***** *** *** ********** or ********* ****** **** ******** **** *** ****** *** ****** onto * ******* *****.” **** ******** **** ***** ** ******* to*********'********* ***** **-*********** ** ****** ******* ***********.

Poor ** ** ***********

*** ***** ******** *** *** **********’* ******, ***** *****, ********* why *** ****** ***** ** *** ** ** *** ***** having * **** ** **** ***********:

“* ***** **’* * *********** ** ******. **’* *** **** of * *********** ******* *** *** ********* ** *** *******. We *** * ********** ** ********* [*** ***** *****]. ** Baltimore ** *****’* ** *****, ** ***** ** ***** [** fix]. ** *****’* ** ***** ** ************ ** ***** ** to **** ***** ** ***." 

Cameras *** ** ******** *** *********

"*** ****** ********* ** *** ******* ** * ******* ***," Dries ****. "******-*** ******* ** **** ***** ** ****, *** rest ** ** ** *******. *****’* ***** ** *** ****** domes, *** **** *** ***** ******* *** ***’* **** ******** any ******* ** ****** ** **** ******* ******.”

****** ******

** ** *** ******* ** ****** ** ***** ******. *** domes *** **** ** *****:

 

*** **** ** *** ***** ***** **** ******* **** ******* in ********** ******* ** ***** ** *********. **** ****** ** blocked ** ****:

*** ** ***** ***** ****** ** ** ********** ** *********** license ****** ** **** ************ *** ** **** ******* ***: 

****: *** ****** ******** ** *** ****** ******* *** **** field ** ****. ****** **** *** ****** **** ********* ******. 

System *****

*** ****** **** **** *** **** ******* *** ********* ***. We ******************* *** *** *** *** ******** *********** *** *******, *** ***** ** *** *** *** ***** scope ** ****, **** ** *** ******* ** *** ******** contract **** **** * ****** ***** ******* **** ****. *** ******** *** *** $*.* ******* *** ******************** ** *** ******* **** ** ****** ** ****** ** additional ***. *** ******** ******* *** ***** ** * ******* in *** **** *****, *** ** ***** ** *** **** what **** **** **** *****. **** ***** **** *** ******* is ********* ***** ******** **** ***** ******.

***

****** *** *** ************ ************ *** **** ***** *** ****** ** ****, *** is ******* ** *******. *** **** ****** * ************ ****** **** *** scalable ** ** *,*** *******, ******** **** *** ** *******. It **** ****** * ******* ** * **** ** *********** and ***** ********* *** ******* *** * ******* ** ** days. Ironically, *** **** *** **** *** ****** **** **** ** alarm **** ******** ************** ** *** ***** ** *** ****** are *** *******. ** ***** **** ********** ****** *** *** make ** **** *** ****** ** **** *** ***** **** constantly ** ***** ***. ***** ** **** *** "******** ******* Requirements" ******* ***** **** (**** *** ****):

Failed *** / **** ****

*** ****'* **** ** *** *** ******** ** *** *****, and *** ****** ** ********** *** ********** ********* ********* ********** with ****. ** *** ***** ***** *** ** ******* ** adding ***** ** * *********** *******, *** ***** *** ******* of *********** * ****.

** ***** *** **** ****** **** *********, *** ***** ** VMS **** ** ****************** ********** ** ****. *** ************ ***** ** ********* ******* ******* *** ******* (****) ***** **** ********* ** ******* "**** ******** ******." *** **** says ** ** ******* “***** ** ****** ** *** ********* software ** **** *********” **** **** ***** **** ** ******* the ******* ***** ******.

***** *********'* ******, ** ***** ** ********* ** ********* *** two. ********, **** ** *********, ** ** *** *** *** way **** *** **** ***** '*******' *** ****** ****** **** a ***** ***** ********.

*** **********’* ****** **** *** *** ** ********* *** ** issue **** ******* ** *** ***** ***** ** ****. *** city ***** ** **** ****** **** ********* ** ********* **** the ****** ***** ******* ****** ********, *** **** “**** ***’* have **,” *** **********'* ****** ****.

What ** **?

*********, ****** *** ********* *********** **** **** *** *** ******** are **** ****** ******. *** ***** ** ***** ****** ** a *** **** ** *** ** ******** ************ **** ************ **** ******* ****** **** ***** ********** / ************ **************. Moreover, **** **** ******** ********* ******. ** *** *** ********** about *** ******'* ****** ******* ******* *******.

******, **** ****, ************ *** ****** *** **** ******* **** ********** ******* ********** ** ******* ************ *******. *************, **** ******** *** ***** *********** ** ****.

Comments (5)

Another fantastic example of the government's stweradship of the citizen's money.

"The Office of Information and Technology (which oversees the project) claims 60% of the cameras were working before the audit, 71% after the audit."

There's your solution: at 11% gain per, with three more audits they should be at 103%

Of course, given what an audit probably costs, it would be cheaper to just rip everything out and start from scratch.

Do they honestly, honestly, seriously expect the system to just run itself, with no dedicated surveillance system staff?

It's pretty amazing that most times you see a system with major problems, they have terrible to no maintenance in place. You would think this would serve as a warning / lesson to not short cut maintenance.

Why, when it's easier to just point fingers and insist the vendor deal with "their" deficiencies?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Worst Products on Nov 03, 2018
Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer surveys....
Unisight Company Profile on Nov 01, 2018
Hikvision's largest US OEM, LTS has started to carry Unisight, whose products (shown below) look a lot like Hikvision's rival Dahua: Who is...
VMS Camera Management Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hanwha, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix on Oct 29, 2018
Camera setup, configuration and maintenance are the most common tasks when managing a surveillance system. Who does it best and worst? Who offers...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact