A series of large screens on the wall monitor the CCTV security camera feeds from NYCHA’s central offices (250 Broadway, 90 Church Street, and Long Island City) as well as from the walk-in centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx; on the computer monitors below, footage from security cameras at 40 developments across the city can be accessed.
This is NYCHA’s Command Center at 90 Church Street. In 24/7 shifts, staff from the Office of Safety and Security keep an eye on what’s going on at the Authority while fielding phone calls related to safety.
“We handle any and all problems coming in, from calls from an office where someone is sick, to elevator entrapments, to questions about workplace violence and safety issues,” said Supervising Special Officer Joseph White. “We’ll answer those questions if we can or have the appropriate NYCHA department respond.”
Residents, including Resident Watch volunteers, will also call about issues at their development, such as someone acting inappropriately or a disruptive house party.
Offering a supportive voice is an important part of the job. “We assist with rescues from elevator entrapments at developments, keeping people calm and relaxed, staying on the phone with them until the FDNY responds so they don’t panic,” explained Security Guards Davion Marrow and LaSean Smith.
“We’ll also go through CCTV video and capture clips needed for legal cases,” said Mr. White, a 15-year veteran of the Authority who grew up at Wald Houses and Lower East Side II.
June was National Safety Month, and the Safety and Security team offered the following advice to NYCHA employees: “Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes open. If you see something, say something. And keep your NYCHA ID visible for all to see.”