The men and women employed by the Baghdad Security Surveillance Center are paid to help detect suspicious activity and prevent catastrophe. But more often, the cameras simply provide a way to look at the carnage from a distance. The center, which was started about a year ago, uses different stations to monitor 113 cameras spread throughout the city of Baghdad, as well as officers with radio scanners to help prevent disaster. Yet even with all this only five percent of the city is actually being monitored.
The Director of the security center acknowledged that the center still has a long way to go. As of right now the center is understaffed and not open around the clock. Besides that even though they have 113 cameras in use not all of them are functional at all times. Each work station is responsible for monitoring 10 of the active cameras. Last Wednesday they were able to detect suspicious activity but within 20 seconds of noticing it a bomb exploded killing nearly 100 people.
After last week’s attack, the center’s managers met with Iraqi security forces in an effort to discuss how to improve on the surveillance system.
“We should all admit responsibility for this major breach of security,” the director said. “And we have to fix the system.”