Criticized South Philly intelligence center almost ready
December 19, 2012By Tom MacDonald
Philadelphia's mayor and homeland security officials were given a tour and update on the progress of the DVIC. What's a DVIC? It's the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center in South Philadelphia -- designed to bring the region's crime-fighting and homeland security agencies together under one roof.
This fall, a U.S. Senate subcommittee called the facility a waste of money since when an inspector showed up to see how more than $11 million from Washington had been spent, there was no building for the inspector to review. Mayor Nutter says that's resolved now.
"Once things started moving they have moved rapidly and the fact is this center right now is proceeding ahead of construction schedule and below budget, it doesn't get much better than that," countered Nutter. "We'll be open in March."
The facility has been in the planning stages since 2006. Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says most of the work has been done in the past two years.
"It wasn't until 2008, 2009 when we actually started looking for sites, looking for places and then we decided on this place."
City officials say local dollars have paid for gutting and renovating the building. Money from Washington will buy high tech hardware and communications gear.
The Department of Homeland Security has called the fusion center program a centerpiece of the nation's counterterrorism efforts.
October's Senate report found them to be "useless."