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NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea announces security enhancements at Amsterdam Houses. (Photo by LETICIA BARBOZA/NYCHA)
NYCHA Adds More Security Cameras at Amsterdam Houses

Making good on a commitment to enhance safety at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, on Oct. 22, NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea, along with New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane and Amsterdam Houses Resident Association (RA) President Margarita Curet announced the completed installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at NYCHA’s Amsterdam Houses

NYCHA added 21 new surveillance cameras to the 49 cameras that were already in place at the Manhattan development. The newest security installations were funded by a generous $300,000 contribution from Senator Duane.

Security cameras at Amsterdam Houses. (LETICIA BARBOZA/NYCHA)
Security cameras at Amsterdam Houses. (LETICIA BARBOZA/NYCHA)

“These new cameras not only will greatly enhance security here, but we believe also will give residents a greater sense of safety in the place they call home,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “This is another building block in improving safety in public housing.”

NYCHA worked collaboratively with residents, elected officials, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Community Board 7 to identify the targeted areas where the new security cameras were installed.

Amsterdam Houses Resident Association President Curet played a key role in working to determine exactly where the security cameras would be located.  “We are very grateful that we have the cameras, and I believe they will be very helpful in adding protection, especially for our seniors,” she said.

The surveillance cameras are part of a larger effort to install layered access control – including CCTV, mechanical door locks, electronic key fobs and direct-call intercoms. All of these security enhancements were recommended by NYCHA’s Safety and Security Task Force, which was led by NYCHA staff, residents and the NYPD.  While some security cameras were installed in interior locations and elevators, the team focused on building exteriors. “This will ensure some of the hot spots the residents are aware of will be covered,” said Chairman Rhea.

The NYPD can access footage in cases of reported criminal activity. That was good news to Amsterdam Houses Resident Association Sergeant-at-Arms, Harold Smith.  “Now we know that when a knucklehead is outside and doing something, it will be recorded,” he said.  “Some of this nonsense will stop because we’ll have a record of it.”

Since the inception of NYCHA’s CCTV surveillance program in 1997, NYCHA has installed 6,680 security surveillance cameras of varying scale at 538 buildings in 101 developments citywide. NYCHA is on track to complete installation of CCTV, along with layered access control, at 85 development sites by the end of 2013.

By Eric Deutsch  
Oct. 22, 2012

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