A report by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has found failures with Chicago's Project Shield.
The report, which was obtained by The Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 News, found “millions of tax dollars may have been wasted.”
Under Project Shield, two police squad cars in all 128 Cook County suburbs were to be fitted with cameras capable of feeding live video to a central command. In addition, fixed mounted cameras were to be installed to feed pictures in case of a terrorist attack or emergency in Cook County.
A six-month investigation by the IG found “equipment was not working, was removed, or could not be properly operated,” the Sun-Times report says.
Investigators visited 15 municipalities between January and June last year and found “missing records, improper procurement practices, unallowable costs and unaccountable inventory items," it says.
Among the IG’s findings: Cameras in police cars malfunctioned during extreme hot and cold temperatures, there was a lack of training, and the camera systems were never adequately tested, says the report.
Fixed cameras mounted on poles also were problematic, according to the report. “These camera often targeted police parking lots, streets and intersections with questionable homeland security benefits,” the report found. Fixed cameras were even placed in police station lobbies.