Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



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

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: You can’t vote if you don’t have a ballot
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Early voting postponed as candidate nomination contested
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Jacksonville Journal Courier

Jail Population Plunge Has Been Good For Taxpayers, Dart Says
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
WBBM CBSChicago

Foxx: Berrios shouldn't use special state's attorney to fight ethics law
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Every suspicious Cook County death deserves a proper investigation
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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