Michael Masters, Executive Director of Cook County Homeland Security, Discusses Project Shield on WTTW-11′s “Chicago Tonight”
Video and an excerpt from a story as it appeared at WTTW.com, Wednesday, January 11th:
Project Shield, the federally funded Homeland Security program to install security cameras across Cook County, had problems at every stage of its development, according to a report released Sunday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.
The program, which cost the federal government over $45 million over seven years, suffered from poorly planning, malfunctioning equipment, missing inventory, and may have even endangered police officers’ safety.
If realized, Project Shield would have allowed first responders and county officials to view live video feeds from police cars and other locations across the county. But a host of technical problems plagued the program, according to the IG report.
The cameras, which cost $65,000 a piece, were initially tested at the U.S. Open. But the balmy conditions there were nothing near the extreme heat and cold in Cook County, which caused some of the equipment to break down. And police were sometimes unable to view criminal databases from their cars after the cameras were installed, because they were incompatible with the county’s systems….