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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



911 for county system

Monday, May 26, 2008
Crain's Chicago Business
by Paul Merrion

Four years into a $41-million program to install police surveillance systems throughout suburban Cook County, a third of municipalities are equipped, the contractor has been replaced after a number of technical glitches and a subcontractor responsible for installing the equipment is bankrupt.

More than half the budget — funded by federal Homeland Security grants — has been spent, and at least one county commissioner alleges official misconduct.

For their part, county officials say that the program has had technical problems and acknowledge that an employee has been investigated for his business dealings. But they say the investigation exonerated him and that they're working on the other problems.

The program is another embarrassment for Cook County President Todd Stroger, who pushed through a highly unpopular sales tax hike this year, continues to battle accusations of patronage and is desperately trying to cure an ailing public hospital system.

Cook County Commissioner Michael Quigley calls the Homeland Security project "a disaster so far."

Fellow Commissioner Tony Peraica is even more critical. Mr. Peraica, who is calling for a federal probe of the program, dubbed Project Shield, says two FBI agents interviewed him at his request for almost three hours last month.

"Cook County Project Shield is definitely on their radar, and it's being looked at very carefully," says Mr. Peraica, a Republican running for state's attorney and a frequent critic of the county's Democratic administration.

The FBI declines to comment, and Cook County officials say they have no knowledge of a federal investigation.

"I'm the grant manager of the Homeland Security grant," says Daniel Coughlin, director of the county's Judicial Advisory Council. "I have never gotten any contact whatsoever from any federal authorities."

Mr. Peraica says the program is three years behind schedule, but county officials insist they are on schedule.

There are still more than 80 municipalities waiting for the systems, which county officials promise will link the region's police and emergency personnel with seamless voice, video and data communications. About $23 million has been spent to install systems in patrol cars in 44 municipalities, but some police chiefs say the technology has been a bust.

The county installed two cameras in squad cars at the west suburban River Forest Police Department last year. But after weeks of trying to get them to work, the department ripped them out and reinstalled the old cameras.

"I don't know if the person the county contracted to do the installation just couldn't figure it out or what," River Forest Police Chief Nicholas Weiss says. "But the cameras never did us any good."

Cicero Police Chief Anthony Iniquez has been waiting for the county to install cameras at schools and in gang-infested areas for more than a year. The delay is related to problems getting Cicero's contract finalized with the county, he says.

The county's Mr. Coughlin says the county is "not satisfied" with some elements of the system, which led to the replacement of IBM Corp. as the primary contractor. In March, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. replaced IBM to oversee the final phase of the project, which Mr. Coughlin says will be completed, within budget, by early next year. The companies decline to comment.

Most of the blame, Mr. Peraica says, rests with IBM subcontractor Public Safety Communications Inc., a South Holland firm that did much of the equipment installation. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, listing debts of $1.3 million and assets of $77,995, including cash, office furniture and a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria.

Clarence Brownlow, president and owner of Public Safety, did not return calls, and his bankruptcy attorney, Karen Porter, declines to comment. In its bankruptcy filings, the company reported total revenue of $2.8 million for 2005 and 2006. Why Public Safety failed is unclear. Its filing is incomplete and the U.S. bankruptcy trustee is seeking an involuntary liquidation of the company.

Mr. Peraica alleges that the firm wasn't qualified to do the job and was hired because of a relationship with Dudley Donelson, the county's deputy director of wide area networks and a direct supervisor of Project Shield. Mr. Peraica asked county officials to find out if there was a connection between Public Safety and a company Mr. Donelson ran called IT Suite Inc.

Mr. Donelson incorporated IT Suite in March 2002 and it was dissolved in August 2006, state records show. Mr. Donelson didn't respond to repeated requests for comment. A county spokeswoman says employees are allowed to have outside businesses.

Antonio Hylton, who was briefed on the probe into the program when he was hired as the county's chief information officer last year, says he's satisfied that the matter has been resolved. Two investigations by the county's inspector general "found zero substance to the allegations," he says.

Mike Colias contributed.



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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