Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Problems And Solutions

When I first saw this story my reaction was "ho hum, another prison riot." After all, prisons are nasty places where bad things happen. The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was the part about "Brand new security cameras..." I figured I'd give it a quick skim, then move on.

But something towards the end of the article made my jaw drop. See if you can figure it out.

Brand new security cameras capture huge inmate brawl at Northern California jail
Up to 30 inmates at a Northern California jail threw punches at each other when a huge brawl broke out in front of security cameras installed only 24 hours earlier.

“It looks like one inmate brushed up against another and then the fight was on with fists,” Sheriff Laurie Smith told KTVU...

The jail installed 12 security cameras on Wednesday that Smith purchased with her own money at a Costco. She expects the $761 purchase to be reimbursed by the county, the station reported.

Smith went to Costco after being told it would cost $20 million and take two years to install security cameras throughout the jail and other lock-ups.
WTF? $20M and 2 years!?! Granted, this is California. And granted, the media doesn't always get the facts straight. But I did a quick check at costco.com and found several surveillance packages for under $1000, so that part seems reasonable.

I guess by the time you add in all the government-mandated contract and purchase order hoops to jump through, plus the women-and-minority-vendor boxes to check, not to mention environmental impact studies, legal reviews so that the inmates' rights are respected, and of course the usual bribes and kickbacks, $20 million doesn't seem that far fetched.

I'm just waiting for Sheriff Smith to get hauled on the carpet for not following procedure in obtaining and installing the cameras. Forget the fact that they've already proved their worth.

And the establishment wonders why people are fed up with government...


Old 1811 said...

Most people who have never served in government don't understand how cumbersome and expensive the testing and procurement process can be. I often see posts regarding the Federal government's "wasting money" by using duty ammo for practice, when they could just buy cheap crap at Walmart. They don't understand that the expense involved in testing and contracting to buy two different types of ammo completely wipes out any cost savings. That's to say nothing about the legal ramifications of shooting someone with different ammo than you qualify with.
Many equipment manufacturers won't do business with the City of Chicago because of the corruption involved. Chicago won't buy anything directly from the manufacturer; it has to go through an "approved vendor" (which is always owned by some politician's relative), which sells it to the city at an amazing markup (all those handling expenses, you know).

Old NFO said...

Old 1811 is exactly correct! The corruption out there in the procurement process of is just absolutely amazing!!!

CenTexTim said...

You're both right. Vendors/contractors/consultants get rich at taxpayer expense. And there's no doubt some of that payout finds its way back to the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats.