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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cameras To Boost Two Brooklyn Housing Projects’ Security

Cameras To Boost Two Brooklyn Housing Projects’ SecurityNY109/18/2009Jeanine Ramirez

All levels of government helped fund a multimillion-dollar initiative to make some Brooklyn housing projects safer. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Marie Boone talked Friday about the fear of being a victim of crime at the Tilden Houses in Brownsville.
“When you leave your home at 5 o’clock in the morning to go to work, you should not have to wonder, ‘Should I run down the stairs or should I ride the elevator?’” said Boone, the president of the Tilden Houses Tenants Association.
Members of the Tilden Houses Tenants Association voluntarily help patrol the eight-building complex as a safety measure, and soon they will getting high-tech aides in their effort - dozens of surveillance cameras.
“These volunteers will get many more eyes and ears. Our police officers will get many more eyes and ears by the cameras we’re going to install,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
The senator was in Brownsville Friday to announce he secured $400,000 in federal money for security cameras to be placed in Tilden Houses as well as the Brownsville Houses located across the street. Those funds come in addition to $2 million from Borough President Marty Markowitz and another $1 million from City Council member Darlene Mealy.
In total, $3.4 million will be spent on beefing up security at these two development complexes.
“We were thrilled to do it. Absolutely thrilled,” said Markowitz.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to reduce the crime in the Brownsville Houses, which is just terrible,” said Brownsville Houses Tenants Association President Laura Morgan.
Both housing projects are part of what the NYPD calls its “Impact Zone,” developments with a high concentration of crime. Currently, 114 police officers from the 73rd Precinct currently patrol the area, but they will get help from the security cameras placed in building elevators, lobbies, mailbox areas, entrances and exits.
“The cameras are not just going to be facing inside but facing the streets on the outside,” said Brownsville resident Greg Jackson.
The New York City Housing Authority began installing cameras in its developments about five years ago. While 80 complexes citywide are equipped with the technology and have seen a decrease in crime, another 250 housing projects remain without.
“Every time we can add a development to our list, believe me, we’re making progress in an important cause,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea.
Tenants will start seeing cameras installed in November.

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