NBC10.com - Harry Hairston
An audit of Philadelphia's crime cameras reveals how many are not working. NBC10 Investigator Harry Hairston has the story.
An audit has found many of Philadelphia's surveillance cameras intended to help police solve crimes aren't working.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz says auditors found about two-thirds of the 202 cameras have fallen into disrepair. He says the problems include blurry or jagged images, objects blocking visibility and other issues.
“It is discouraging to report that only 32 percent of the sample cameras from around the city were functioning properly,” said Butkovitz in a press release. “This means that at any given time when crime is occurring around our city, only a third of the cameras are able to capture criminal activity.”
He says the $17 million system is giving citizens a false sense of security.
But Mayor Michael Nutter says he thinks the report is full of inaccuracies. He says that by the administration's count 85 percent of the cameras were working as of Monday.
The city began installing the cameras to help police as a crime-fighting tool in 2008.
Butkovitz says the city needs to start a program to ensure that the cameras receive regular cleanings and maintenance. Nutter says the city already has a maintenance program.
This wasn't the first time the working condition of police cameras came under fire. Last summer, a mother spoke out against the camera program after she found out that a camera that could have captured her son's shooting wasn't working.