Exterior lighting key part of Mayor’s Action Plan – $140 million comprehensive effort to improve security at 15 NYCHA sites, home to nearly 62,000 residents
Bushwick MAP programs include after-hours youth programming and additional summer jobs, homework help and college prep, conflict-mediation training
NEW YORK — Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the completion of 305 new LED light fixtures across the Brooklyn development as part of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP). He was joined by New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye, NYPD Housing Bureau Chief James Secreto, Amy Sananman from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and elected officials at Bushwick Houses. Since July 2014, MAP – a comprehensive strategy to reduce violence in 15 public housing developments – has enhanced collaboration between the New York City Police Department, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the New York City Housing Authority, and public housing residents to address crime reduction.
“We keep our promises to our public housing residents. Even as we put more police on the beat, we’re focused on driving down crime with everything from new lighting to youth programs that keep kids off the street at night,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We must continue to embrace a 21st century approach to crime reduction, focusing on improving police-community relations, bringing focused resources to underserved populations, and improving public spaces through upgrades.”
In its first year, the MAP strategy brought physical improvements to public housing and facilitated joint problem-solving between police and residents. The results so far have been promising. Between fiscal years 2014 and 2015, New York City saw a 6.9 percent decrease in violent crime, while violent crime in the 15 MAP developments dropped by 11.2 percent. Additionally, in March, MOCJ announced a comprehensive study in which 40 public housing developments will receive 400 exterior lights in an effort to evaluate the effect of light on crime.
Similarly, the Housing Authority has aggressively expanded security measures through the NextGeneration NYCHA plan. Since 2014, NYCHA has spent more than $64.6 million installing and upgrading CCTV safety cameras, bringing the total number of CCTV cameras portfolio-wide to more than 13,000. NYCHA has also greatly increased the number of Layered Access Control (LAC) doors. In March, NYCHA completed a $4.8M permanent lighting installation at Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem, which included 341 new light fixtures at the MAP site.
“Improving lighting at our developments is crucial to creating a safer, cleaner, and more connected NYCHA,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “The Mayor’s Action Plan is a powerful example of what collaboration can do to strengthen NYCHA and enhance quality of life for residents. These permanent new fixtures will ensure our development is well-lit and our residents feel safe within their communities.”
“The Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety is driven by the idea that deterring crime requires a broad array of strategies beyond traditional law enforcement,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “We know that a well-lit street deters crime better than a dark alley, just as opportunities for work and play promote safety better than disadvantage and disconnection. Finishing the installation of 305 permanent lights at Bushwick Houses is an important next step in this Action Plan and an important milestone for public safety.”
“Every resident of Bushwick Houses – like all New Yorkers across this city – deserves a safe neighborhood to call home. Lighting is an important part of safety, and we at the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety are grateful for the united effort of residents, police, City agencies and community stakeholders to complete this lighting project,” said Amy Sananman, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. “MAP’s unique approach to public safety is much broader than enforcement, and we look forward to continuing to invest in the people, places and networks that are essential to safe, vibrant and connected communities.”
To date, $140M has been allocated for security lighting, CCTV, and LAC at MAP sites, with funding from the City Council and Speaker, the Mayor’s Office and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Exterior lighting work has started at 10 sites, with 2 sites – Polo Grounds and Bushwick – complete; and CCTV/LAC work has started at 8 sites. In 2016, NYCHA expects to complete lighting installations at 7 sites, including Butler, St. Nicholas, Boulevard, Van Dyke I and Van Dyke II, Castle Hill, Stapleton, and Ingersoll; and plans to begin installing lighting in 4 more sites at an estimated cost of $24.6M. The new lighting installation is expected to be substantially completed at 13 of the 15 MAP sites by the end of 2017. Temporary light towers will remain in place at developments until all projects are completed. The next phase will be the installation of CCTV and LAC at these MAP sites. Construction is already underway at eight sites, with the bulk of the remaining site installations rolling out over the summer and fall of 2016. Most of the sites are estimated to be substantially completed by the end of 2018.
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