Philly Anticrime Cameras Called Expensive Flop; Mayor Disagrees


An expensive flop was the essential verdict in an audit by Philadelphia’s controller on the city’s video-surveillance cameras, first installed in 2008 to fight crime and violence, says the Philadelphia Daily News. Controller Alan Butkovitz said that although the city spent $13.9 million and has committed another $3.6 million for more cameras and repairs, fewer than half of them work. “At any given time when crime is occurring around our city, only 47 percent of the city’s cameras are able to capture criminal activity at camera locations.”

Mayor Michael Nutter’s chief of staff, Everett Gillison, said the controller’s information is out of date. He acknowledged that getting the cameras up and running has been a slow process, which started before Nutter took office, but said that the city has 70 percent working today. “It is not news, quite frankly, that the cameras had gone down,” Gillison said. “Now we’re up to 70 percent working; by September we should be up to 90 percent working.”

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