"With the city spending millions of dollars on its surveillance program, it's extremely troubling to have to say that only 102 of the 216 installed cameras were properly functioning," Butkovitz said. "That means 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."
Doing the math, that works out to a $136,000 price tag per operating camera — not $3,017 as the city first estimated, Butkovitz notes.
The mayor's chief of staff, Everett Gillison, said the controller's information is out of date.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."
Gillison also took issue with Butkovitz's complaint that the cameras each cost the city $136,000, saying, "It does not cost $136,000 per camera to run this system, it just doesn't."
Butkovitz's report said the city has failed to keep warranty and maintenance records for cameras and other video-surveillance equipment, leaving the city open to paying for services for which it already contracted. Auditors also reportedly saw numerous unopened boxes of camera equipment at a warehouse maintained by the Streets Department.
Contact Dana DiFilippo at 215-854-5934, email@example.com or on Twitter @DanaDiFilippo. Read her blog at phillyconfidential.com.