By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city controller says Philadelphia’s long troubled crime surveillance camera system is still plagued by dozens of cameras that aren’t working — or even hooked up.
Philadelphia controller Alan Butkovitz says his latest audit shows even though the city has spent more than $17 million on the system, less than half of the cameras installed are working properly.
He says of the 216 cameras put up, only 102 are functioning and able to spot criminal activity.
While the police department’s intent was to deploy the cameras in high-crime neighborhoods, Butkovitz says the plan isn’t working.
“At least there would be credibility that people would be identified on camera and they would be caught later. If there’s a 50-50 chance that the camera’s not functioning, that does not serve a deterrent,” he said today.
Everett Gillison, Mayor Michael Nutter’s chief of staff, says a contractor was hired in March to get the system in shape, and says the controller’s numbers are old.
“Now, we’re up to almost 70 percent working,” Gillison tells KYW Newsradio,” and by September 1st we should have the rest, up to 90 percent working.”