Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Questions Remain for Project Shield

Saturday, February 11, 2012

by Carol Marin And Don Moseley

A Project Shield camera, which was supposed to aid first responders in times of crisis, was placed in a Stroger Hospital mobile mammography van, according to a 2006 Cook County government internal document. 


“I have worked on terrorism for 25 years and I’m at a loss to try and figure out what theory of security you could fit that one into,” said DePaul University terrorism expert Tom Mockaitis.  “I have no idea.” 


The camera was plagued with technical problems.  


According to the December 8, 2006 memo the “…the front camera video display was not coming up…” A video message stated:  “Waiting for the system to warm up and/or initialize.”    


In January an audit by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said millions may have been wasted in Project Shield. The IG’s report mirrored problems found in numerous NBC5/Chicago Sun-Times reports. 


Like mobile cameras that didn’t work properly, pole cameras that weren’t attached and frustration by suburban police departments that opted out of Project Shield due to technical problems. The big public rollout for Project Shield came in 2008.


Officials showed off how cameras were supposed to beam live video from squad cars to a central command, where, ostensibly, critical decisions could be made in the event of a terrorist attack or emergency. 

“This is the time when our local law enforcement officials need this type of technology,”  then County’s Chief Information Officer, Antonio Hylton, said at the time.
 
According to a list of vehicles to be outfitted with Project Shield cameras were 6 public health vehicles plus a public health command van.
 
That says former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, a long-standing critic of Project Shield, was a useless application of first responder equipment.
 
“It was just a place to dump the equipment that they didn’t know what to do with,” Peraica contends.
 
Project Shield had 3 phases.  The original prime contractor was IBM. After many technical problems were uncovered in Phases 1 and 2, in 2008, Johnson Controls became the prime contractor in Phase 3.  Not until that last phase did the County also award a Quality Assurance contract.
 
The QA contract went to Chicago based Synch Solutions, which was paid, according to the County, approximately $860,000.
 
The head of the company is John Sterling, the stepson of former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, a political ally of then-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
 
Among the company’s duties, according to a copy of the Cook County Board’s agenda at the time, was to “... support the quality reviews, quality audits…as well as customer acceptance testing.” 
 
But in Phase 3 problems persisted and complaints by County Commissioners continued.
 
“This is failing on all accounts,” said former County Commissioner and current Congressman Mike Quigley in a 2009 interview.
 
 “It’s not working, the taxpayers are not getting what they deserve for their money,” said former Commissioner and current CTA President Forrest Claypool in 2009.
 
Six months after Todd Stroger was defeated in his 2010 re-election primary bid, Synch Solutions, according to the County, was paid its last invoice.
 
In June 2011, new Board President Toni Preckwinkle, shut Project Shield down.
 
In January a 6-month audit by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security found among other things: equipment malfunctions, unused equipment and uncertainty on how to use the equipment.
 
Questions to Synch Solutions about whether or not the company with the Quality Control contract agreed or disagreed with the Inspector General’s report went unanswered.
 
But Peraica said, unlike the IG, Sterling’s company never raised a red flag.
 
“He didn’t see any of these abuses that the Inspector General found out,” said Peraicia.
 
IBM did not respond to this story but in past stories has declined to comment.
 
Johnson Controls issued a statement, which reads: “Johnson Controls completed all of its obligations under the contract for the third and final phase of the Project Shield initiative with Cook County. We stand ready to review our work with local and federal officials.”
 
In January, Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Mike Quigley said, since its inception, Project Shield may have wasted at least $20-million. 
 
Peraica says if any money was wasted, he has a legal remedy the County should pursue through civil action.
 
“Yes, it’s called breach of contract,” he said. 



Recent Headlines

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches — for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

Recorder of Deeds staffers accused of political motive in firing
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sheriff's department will focus on catching people wanted on arrest warrants
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

An unwelcome surprise from the Cook County health system
Monday, July 14, 2014
Chicago Tribune

New Cook County Health CEO must find millions in savings - stat
Monday, July 14, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Fitch cuts rating on Cook County
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Reuters

Man trapped in Cook County Jail 30-plus hours files court papers
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Man trapped in Cook County Jail visiting room for 31 hours
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Orr, Suffredin To Explain Expanded Voting Rules At Town Hall
Wednesday, July 09, 2014

County land bank sweeping up the debris of the housing crisis
Monday, July 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Exoneree Diaries: Jacques mentors in Cook County juvenile detention
Monday, July 07, 2014
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP