The post-Sept. 11 security initiative in Chicago’s Cook County, dubbed Project Shield, which has come under fire for being sharply over budget and years behind schedule, is proving to be an even bigger drain on taxpayers, report the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 News. In the end, it will provide a more porous security net than envisioned.
The key aim of the program funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was to improve communications and decision-making in case of a terror attack, natural disaster or other major emergency by installing new, state-of-the-art video cameras on police cars and at stationary locations, linking them to a central command center. The network includes 103 cameras, with three more to be installed; the total of 106 would amount to fewer than a single camera per municipality. The price tag to provide that slimmed-down network keeps going up. Project Shield was to be completed in 2008 for $31.5 million. As of last fall, the county had spent $43 million.