The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced that it is on track to complete installation of outstanding City Council-funded closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras by the end of this year. Since August 2012, NYCHA has used City Council funding to install 3,549 CCTV cameras in 445 buildings at 73 developments. Currently, installation of 362 cameras is underway at 11 developments. By year’s end, NYCHA will have installed security cameras and/or layered access control at 84 developments, and currently it is finalizing stakeholder buy-in at the remaining development, where construction will begin next year.
“Since my appointment as Chairman, we have taken decisive, proactive measures and have made cost-effective choices to ensure a long-term, sustainable approach to security, which has resulted in the installation of more than 5,000 closed-circuit television cameras at more than 500 buildings in the past four-and-a-half years alone,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “As we outlined in Plan NYCHA, all of these process improvements are a direct result of NYCHA’s commitment to making our developments safer and more secure for our residents and communities.”
In 2009, NYCHA formed the Safety and Security Task Force, bringing together resident leaders, NYCHA management and the New York City Police Department, as well as other law enforcement stakeholders, to determine how best to utilize allocated funds, and find solutions to improve and strengthen NYCHA communities. The Task Force’s early findings suggested that NYCHA review and evaluate all new CCTV-related construction that had not yet been initiated. The effort led to a more comprehensive, standardized security model that would maximize the use of the City Council’s financial investment, while ensuring community support. The resulting Safety and Security Program included a universal platform for the selection and placement of security enhancements; and a comprehensive approach to security, known as layered access control, which includes modern intercoms and technologically advanced cameras.
In 2010, NYCHA had $42 million to provide security enhancements for 85 designated developments. After presenting the new security system options to City Council Members, NYCHA sought and obtained buy-in for the use of these funds from residents in each development. NYCHA also met with residents and the NYPD in order to prioritize security enhancements and identify camera locations. This more efficient and collaborative work model reaped huge benefits with NYCHA procuring better cameras at a lower cost and installing them faster than ever.