Security cameras are an important part of NYCHA’s (New York City Housing Authority’s) comprehensive plan to make public housing developments more secure for residents, employees and New York City communities at large. NYCHA is working closely with the New York City Police Department and with NYCHA’s resident leaders to make sure security cameras are positioned in effective locations and that there are additional security measures in place. During the past year, NYCHA leadership in the areas of Capital Projects and Operations have been working diligently with NYCHA residents and resident leaders to design scope of works, secure approval and award contracts for cameras. A detailed camera installation roll-out plan is in place for completion in fall 2013, when NYCHA security cameras will be up and running in about 85 developments. NYCHA developments where there are security camera installations underway include Mott Haven in the Bronx, Amsterdam on the Upper West Side, Bayview in Brooklyn and Latimer Gardens in Queens.
Improving the safety of NYCHA’s 334 developments is a huge challenge – with 2,600 buildings, 3,300 elevators and numerous amount of entryways, stairwells and hallways citywide – it would cost at least $200 million to install an ideal network of NYCHA security cameras. However this figure does not account for the cost to monitor and maintain the equipment over time.
As of July 2012, government officials have allocated approximately $51 million to NYCHA to install CCTV and/or Layered Access Control at select NYCHA developments. With only one quarter of the estimated funds needed to do citywide security upgrades across all NYCHA developments, NYCHA’s Safety and Security Task Force developed a universal system for the selection and placement of NYCHA security systems in all NYCHA developments moving forward. Since 2011, NYCHA has proactively met with resident leaders in developments that have been identified for security upgrades. During these meetings NYCHA resident leaders, NYCHA staff and New York Police Department officials worked together to plan the best way to use and place cameras at their developments. Previously, there was no uniform system in place to put cameras at NYCHA developments, and no uniformity to the cameras in use. The NYCHA security systems that will be installed in about 85 developments will be uniform, technologically advanced cameras that will be part of an integrated system. Installation at these select developments is expected to be completed by fall 2013.
NYCHA Surveillance Cameras Record
- As of July 2012 elected officials have allocated approximately $51 Million ($10 million was allocated in the FY 2013 budget) to install CCTV and/or Layered Access Control at select NYCHA developments. This funding, which was derived collaboratively through the efforts of NYCHA officials, resident leaders, the NYPD and elected officials is being expended with a thoughtful, cost-effective plan to standardize on the type of NYCHA surveillance cameras to be installed at NYCHA developments.
- The New York City Housing Authority has installed NYCHA security cameras in its buildings - Despite recent claims in the press, NYCHA has not failed to install security cameras. Since 1997 when the CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) surveillance program began, 6,680 security surveillance cameras of varying scale have been installed at 538 NYCHA buildings citywide. The New York City Housing Authority has installed 3,497 NYCHA surveillance cameras between 2003 and 2012.
- NYCHA security camera installations are a priority and there is a firm completion date for installations - NYCHA’s revised Safety and Security program was developed in 2009 in collaboration with the New York City Police Department, NYCHA officials, including the Executive Vice Presidents of NYCHA’s Capital Projects and Operations departments, and NYCHA’s Citywide Council of Presidents, which is comprised of resident leaders. The revised Safety and Security Program created a universal system for selection and placement of NYCHA security systems in all NYCHA developments moving forward.
- NYCHA’s Safety and Security Task Force has delivered- NYCHA’s Safety and Security Task Force has provided recommendations for security measures, including Layered Access Control to enhance building entrance security, and state of the art cost effective improvements to Closed Circuit Television surveillance systems (CCTV). A NYCHA safety and security report was issues in February 2011 outlining thoughtful, concrete, cost effective recommendations for a universal security system for all NYCHA developments.