Department of Homeland Security – Cook Country

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


Department of Homeland Security – USA
Project type : Integrated security system
Project name : Project Shield
Date : Jan 2012 Cost :$45M

Synopsis :
A project aimed at providing live camera links from police cars and other fixed locations to a central command location fails to achieve the desired results. Equipment failures, poor planning and poor training mean that as a integrated whole the system was worthless.  Staff are unfamiliar with how to use the system, the data collected through the system is of questionable value and failure to understand operating environment in which the system would function resulted in equipment that failed under the extreme temperatures that are not uncommon in the area.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Lack of oversight, faulty equipment, poor training, underestimation of complexity, ineffective procurement practices.

Reference links :

  1. Project Shield’ Failures: Report Finds Money-Wasting Problems In Homeland Security Initiative
  2. Feds find failures in Cook Co. homeland security project
  3. Office of the Inspector General report
  4. Video news report (Oct 2009)
  5. Video news report (Jan 2012)