Press Release

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New York City Council Member Margaret Chin and New York City Housing Authority Announce CCTV Camera Installation Complete at Smith Houses

Council Member Chin provides approximately $679,000 in City Council Funds for safety and security enhancements at Smith Houses

New York City Council Member Margaret Chin, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea, Smith Houses Resident Association President Aixa Torres and New York State Senator Daniel Squadron formally announced the completed installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in targeted areas of NYCHA’s Smith Houses. Having the cameras in place greatly enhances security and reduces the likelihood and incidence of crime. NYCHA is only able to provide this additional security because of discretionary funding provided by elected officials such as Council Member Chin.

“I am proud to be here today at the Smith Houses to announce new security measures that will help keep residents safe and protected,” Council Member Margaret Chin said. “I have worked closely with NYCHA and the leadership at the Smith Houses to ensure we have the best security system possible for our public housing residents. These cameras will serve as a deterrent to individuals who seek to engage in criminal behavior within NYCHA housing, and will help promote a feeling of well-being in our community. I want to especially thank Chairman Rhea for supporting projects like these for our public housing developments, and Aixa Torres, and the Smith Houses Resident Association for working to bring this security plan to fruition.”

“The safety and security of our residents is of great importance to NYCHA, and installing CCTV cameras deters crime and enhances the quality of life of our residents,” said NYCHA Chairman John Rhea. “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. City Council Member Chin’s work in securing funds for the cameras is a key example of such collaboration, and we appreciate and salute her support of the NYCHA community.”

“These new cameras bring additional security to all buildings at Smith Houses that now have CCTV systems in place, and this will contribute greatly to the safety and security of our community,” said Smith Houses Resident Association President Aixa Torres. “We are grateful to Council Member Margaret Chin for allocating the funds necessary to improve security in our buildings, and to NYCHA for getting the installation done.”

"We know that, too often, NYCHA residents have concerns about safety and security in their homes,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “These new security cameras will go a long way toward preventing and solving crime and improving quality of life throughout the Smith Houses community. Thank you to Council Member Chin for providing the funding for this vital improvement, to NYCHA for making these cameras a reality, and to Aixa and the Smith Resident Association for their continued collaboration and advocacy."

The City Council capital funding at the Smith Houses provided for the installation of 78 new cameras located in seven buildings at the development. There are 58 existing cameras at the remaining five buildings, for a total of 136 cameras in all 12 buildings. NYCHA, the NYPD and Resident Association leaders worked together to determine camera locations at each building. The CCTV security systems are strategically placed to monitor key areas such as building entrances, street corners, elevators and equipment rooms. The NYPD can access footage in cases of reported criminal activity.

Since the inception of the CCTV surveillance program in 1997, NYCHA has installed 7,391 security surveillance cameras of varying scale at 598 buildings in 113 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.