On October 22, 2012, NYCHA officially announced the completed installation of security cameras in their Amsterdam Houses. Twenty-one new cameras were installed in the Upper West Side development. Since 1997, when NYCHA began its CCTV surveillance program, 6,680 security surveillance cameras have been installed in over 500 buildings and 100 developments across the city.
Senator Thomas K. Duane, who managed to secure $300,000 in New York State capital funding to be used on the cameras, made the installation of the security cameras possible. Installing CCTV surveillance in NYCHA buildings will discourage vandalism and crime within the housing facilities.
“The safety and security of our residents is of great importance to NYHA, and installing CCTV cameras deters crime and enhances the quality of life for our residents,” said John Rhea, Chairman for NYCHA. “Through our roadmap for providing safe and secure housing for our residents, Plan NYCHA, we have been actively working with all public housing community stakeholders, including the NYPD, to ensure that issues of safety and security are addressed through a more collaborative approach. State Senator Duane’s work in securing funds for the cameras is a key example of such collaboration, and we appreciate and salute his support of the NYCHA community.”
NYCHA has been working with police to determine the most effective placement of cameras. Currently, they are focusing on “key areas such as building entrances, street corners, elevators, and equipment rooms. The NYPD can access footage in cases of reported criminal activity.”