December 31, 2013 The New York City Housing Authority announced it has achieved its promised goal of completed installation of City Council-funded closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras by the end of 2013. Since August 2012, NYCHA has used City Council funding to install 3,879 CCTV cameras in 500 buildings at 84 designated developments.
“Since my appointment as Chairman, safety and security has been a top priority,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “As a result of the decisive, proactive measures we have taken during the past four and a half years, we have honored our commitment to complete CCTV camera installations at City-funded developments by the end of 2013, and have instituted a long-term, sustainable approach to security that will make 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 (NYPD), as well as other law enforcement stakeholders, to determine how best to utilize allocated funds and to 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. NYCHA will complete installation at one more site after finalizing stakeholder buy-in at the remaining development, where additional funding was received to complete the task. 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.