New Haven mayor seeks 500 cameras to fight crime


Thomas Breen :: Independent from New Haven

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.

“The cameras don’t lie.”

Mayor Justin Elicker offered this assessment in support of his administration’s new proposal to spend $ 12 million in federal pandemic assistance on various public safety initiatives, including the installation of 500 new surveillance cameras. in all the city.

Elicker made the speech Monday morning at a press conference on the crime held on the third floor of police headquarters at 1 Union Ave.

Along with acting police chief Renee Dominguez, the mayor explained how his administration submitted a communication to the council of aldermen last week that outlines a new plan on how to spend some of the tens of millions of dollars from the city ​​in the US federal rescue plan. Act in money.

The proposal aims to allocate $ 12 million of that federal aid to various initiatives designed to strengthen the New Haven Police Department’s capacity to deter and combat crime.

Some of these initiatives include expanding the ShotSpotter system to city hot spots, funding signing bonuses of $ 10,000 for “side hires” of certified police officers who are currently working for other departments, replacement of the City’s Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) and Obsolete Records Management (RMS) system; and the purchase and installation of approximately 500 new CCTV cameras.

“We are struggling to get community members to share information” after a violent incident such as a shooting, the mayor said of the camera proposal. ” People are scared. They don’t want to be a snitch.

Buying and installing cameras across the city should help solve this problem, he said. He said New Haven’s public camera system was pale compared to those in place in Bridgeport and Hartford. He frequently hears from community members that they would feel safer if there were more cameras in their neighborhoods.

“I think in general there has been a change in attitude that says if people don’t want to talk we have to find someone who is going to talk. And that entity is going to be a camera, ”Elicker said when asked about potential privacy concerns regarding proposed camera purchases.

“And my god, there are cameras everywhere,” he added. “We live in a different world than we were five or seven years ago.” There are cameras on cell phones that a lot of people carry in their pockets. GPS tools keep such an eye on where people go on a daily basis. “I think it has helped change the attitude among the people” to support the city’s use of more, not less cameras.

The proposed order itself plans to spend $ 3.8 million on the so-called “City Camera Project”.

“The New Haven Police Department (NHPD) is asking $ 3,800,000 to cover the cost of purchasing, installing and supporting approximately 500 cameras (may include license plate reader (LPR) cameras) ) throughout New Haven, ”one reads in an included tax breakdown. with Alderman submission. “Cameras are commonly used as a public safety tool to increase creditworthiness and prevent crime. These cameras would be installed near city entrances and exits and in areas the NHPD has identified as hot spots through analysis of crime heat maps. In addition, the City requests that personnel costs be added for the project. “

ARPA’s total spending proposal of $ 12 million is now submitted to an Alderman committee for a public hearing and review, before being considered by the full council of aldermen later this year for further deliberation. and a final vote.

ShotSpotter; $ 10,000 bonus

The city’s budget director and acting comptroller, Michael Gormany, wrote in the aldermanic’s submission for the proposed $ 12 million spending order that US bailout money can “support them.” communities working to reduce and respond to the increase in violence due to the pandemic by investing in technology and equipment to enable law enforcement to respond more effectively to the resulting increase in gun violence of the pandemic. “

Click here, here and here to read the related documents submitted to the Alder Council for review.

The $ 12 million proposed spending that is presented in the Elicker administration’s communication includes:

• $ 3.8 million for 500 new city cameras.

• $ 3.5 million on a new CAD / RMS. “Our current system was purchased from a vendor that was bought out by a new company and the support we are receiving from the new company is inferior at best,” the aldermanic submission read. “The current vendor has a much better system and prefers to focus their efforts on that system to the detriment of our current system. Will need to go to the RFP and review the responses against the list of requirements to select the best solution for the city.

• $ 1.2 million to expand ShotSpotter “for high crime areas” over four years.

• $ 600,000 for police overtime for more bike walks and patrols, as well as special details regarding quality of life issues like ATVs, illegal drag races and noise complaints, and for additional narcotics and undercover work.

• $ 450,000 to build another police data center at 200 Wintergreen Ave.

• $ 400,000 for the bonuses of the side police officers. The funding request would allow the NHPD to pay up to $ 10,000 in singing bonuses for up to 40 side hires from other Connecticut police departments. The aldermanic’s submission says lateral hires, even with these bonuses, would save the city about $ 22,000 per hire, as sending a cadet to the police academy costs about $ 32,000.

• $ 400,000 to refurbish the police department’s data center, which is “plagued with overheating and insufficient power,” according to the aldermanic’s submission. “The server racks are overcrowded and poorly equipped. It would be beneficial for us to renovate the entire space and bring in a third party company to redesign and rebuild the data center. “

• $ 350,000 on cybersecurity upgrades for 1 Union Ave. and the municipal office building at 200 Orange Street. These would include increased virtual private network (VPN) access to further support remote teleworkers.

• $ 300,000 to expand Wi-Fi access and capabilities for city-provided mobile phones and laptops.

• $ 150,000 to finance a new “cybersecurity asset management” program for Axonious.

• $ 100,000 to update and replace the equipment in the Police Department’s CompStat room.


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